6 Minute Read

B2B PR: Connecting with Media Contacts

By Madison Knopik:

Having a great story put into spectacular content is excellent, but even with a well thought out plan to spread it to crucial reporters, there’s no guarantee for placement. This is why creating a connection with media members is essential. Building relationships with reporters or editors who cover your space regularly can help drive your PR efforts.

Let’s drive into B2B PR media connections.

Respect Their Role

Regardless of their outlet, journalists don’t exist to sell your product or promote your ideas. Their position is to tell a great story, secure relevant news for his or her outlet, and to be impartial to company submissions. The first mistake many PR individuals make is assuming a journalist’s job is to grow their business.

Start your relationship by respecting their position and work. By doing this, you’ll yield better results, manage your organization’s expectations, and build a long-lasting relationship. Next, ensure you’re in it for the long haul. Contacting every reporter on your list for every announcement can be a big turnoff. Instead, try sending pitches to only a handful of reporters who cover your industry. This way, you don’t burn bridges before you build them.

So you’ve got great content and a killer plan to get it out there but no #media member is picking it up. Learn how connecting with media is a critical part of #B2BPR: Click To Tweet

By only emailing your contacts when you have something of value for them and being a regular viewer of their work, you’re respecting their time and helping your efforts in the long run.

Study Your Subjects

By running a quick search or browsing their website, you can typically find the necessary background and contact information for reporters. Look for their “About Us,” “Meet the Staff,” or “Contact Us” pages to find this information. If you’re a larger company or a PR agency, you may use a service like Cision to pull lists for you. If you’re working on a little to nonexistent budget, try creating lists by searching for relevant sites. PR professionals can even use free services, like Hunter, to find viable contacts for their lists.

If you’re making your list, some information you should include would be – name, publication, email, Twitter link, beat, and any other general contact information.

For a majority of outlets, email is the most effective way to reach out initially. However, if you have breaking news, you can always call the news desk or editorial department to speak with your contact or follow up on a news alert.

Leverage Social Media

Another place to drive inbound PR results is through social media. By monitoring how and when journalists are talking about relevant topics and interacting with them via tips, links, and content, you can begin a relationship with a media contact.

Set up alerts, like Talkwalker Alerts, to get automatic notifications when someone is talking about an industry you monitor. You can easily add to or create an influencer list from these outlets.

Once these reporters get your attention, follow them and actively interact with them because one day you may need to reach out.

Make It Personal

Personalization is critical when creating the connection you’re looking for. You would never email your friend or colleague with a generic or super formal greeting, so don’t do it with a journalist. Personalize your approach, tactics, and outreach for each journalist.

A report may take more notice when they see things that pertain to them come through an email.

Try drafting up personalized emails before sending out a big announcement. This will help alleviate the pressure when it comes to the time of sending your emails.

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Scratch Their Back First

No one likes being bothered by someone only when they need something. Find ways to add value to your reporter’s daily lives as well. Try sharing and promoting their previous content even when it’s unrelated to you, comment on their great pieces to demonstrate genuine interest, or potentially provide them with previews to explore your business, your approach, or meet with your team.

Media relationships should be a two- way street, so make sure you meet reporters half-way and deliver value.

B2B PR can be a tough nut to crack, but with inbound approaches, you may snag that elusive media relationship you’ve needed. Have other tips on how to build reporter relationships? Tweet @RedBranch and let us know!