What Are Effective Ways to Build Media Relationships as a Public Relations Specialist?


    What Are Effective Ways to Build Media Relationships as a Public Relations Specialist?

    In the fast-paced world of public relations, building and maintaining strong media relationships is key. We've gathered insights from CMOs, CEOs, and other top marketing professionals to share their success stories. From cultivating genuine media engagements to nurturing relationships with exclusive events, explore the diverse strategies in these twenty-four expert responses.

    • Cultivate Genuine Media Engagements
    • Proactive, Authentic Marketing Interactions
    • Foster Trust with Consistent Engagement
    • Become a Go-To Resource for Journalists
    • Mutually Beneficial Media Connections
    • Provide Newsworthy Content and Insights
    • Engage Media Contacts on Social Media
    • Prioritize Journalist Needs and Interests
    • Tailor Pitches to Journalist Interests
    • Ensure Mutual Exchange of Value
    • Keep Media Contacts Informed and Engaged
    • Maximize Exposure with Daily Content
    • Secure In-Depth Features through Exclusivity
    • Offer Exclusive Content for Insider Feel
    • Cultivate Trust with Insightful Analysis
    • Authentic Engagements for Mutual Benefit
    • Repeated Engagement and Respect
    • Strategic Communication and Mutual Value
    • Leverage Social Proof with Media Contacts
    • Continuous Engagement Beyond Pitching
    • Transparency and Consistent Media Engagement
    • Consistency and Value in Media Interactions
    • Foster Trust with Valuable Insights
    • Nurture Media Relationships with Exclusive Events

    Cultivate Genuine Media Engagements

    Building and maintaining media relationships is all about consistent, genuine engagement. At Write Right, we focus on personalized communication, quick responses, and sharing valuable content. Regular check-ins, sharing relevant updates, and providing expert insights keep the connection warm.

    I remember a great success story: We had cultivated a relationship with a journalist at a top educational publication. By consistently offering them high-quality, timely content, we became their go-to source for academic writing insights. This led to a feature article highlighting our unique approach and the success stories of students we've helped.

    The article boosted our credibility and increased our website traffic and inquiries. It highlighted how reliable and valuable media relationships can be mutually beneficial.

    My experience is a perfect example of how investing time in genuine media connections can significantly increase your brand's exposure.

    Bhavik Sarkhedi
    Bhavik SarkhediCMO, Write Right

    Proactive, Authentic Marketing Interactions

    My approach as a Marketing Consultant revolves around being proactive and authentic in our interactions. I stay informed about the latest trends and topics relevant to our contacts, which allows me to provide them with timely and valuable information. By leveraging tools like media databases and social media, I can keep track of their work and familiarize myself with their style and preferences.

    A success story that highlights the power of these relationships took place when we launched a new initiative featuring emerging keynote speakers. By collaborating closely with a well-regarded editor who had a keen interest in spotlighting up-and-coming talents, we were able to secure a comprehensive feature in a leading industry magazine.

    The editor appreciated our efforts to provide background stories, quotes, and high-quality visuals, which made their job easier. The resulting feature not only brought significant exposure to our initiative but also positioned Gotham Artists as a trendsetter in the industry, attracting new clients and speaking opportunities for our emerging talents. This experience exemplifies how strategic media relationships can drive significant business outcomes and elevate a brand's presence in the market.

    Austin Benton
    Austin BentonMarketing Consultant, Gotham Artists

    Foster Trust with Consistent Engagement

    Building and maintaining relationships with media contacts is much like nurturing any other professional relationship—it's all about trust, respect, and consistent, meaningful engagement. I always emphasize the importance of being genuinely interested in the journalist's work, understanding their beats, and providing them with valuable, timely information that aligns with their interests.

    I remember a time when we were launching a new tech-scouting platform at Spectup, and we needed media coverage to generate buzz. Early on, I made it a point to connect with a tech journalist who had a reputation for insightful analysis and fair reporting. Instead of pitching right away, I took the time to comment thoughtfully on their articles and share them within my network. After a few weeks, I reached out with an exclusive story idea that I knew would resonate with their audience.

    This journalist ended up writing a feature piece on our launch, highlighting not just the platform but the broader impact it could have on the industry. The article led to a surge in interest and inquiries from potential clients and partners. This success stemmed from a relationship built on mutual respect and understanding. By consistently providing the journalist with valuable insights and respecting their work, we established a partnership that was beneficial for both sides.

    Niclas Schlopsna
    Niclas SchlopsnaManaging Consultant and CEO, spectup

    Become a Go-To Resource for Journalists

    To build and maintain relationships with media contacts, become a valuable resource. Don't just pitch stories; offer insights and industry data, or connect them with experts from your company. This positions you as their go-to source for your niche. Respect their time—journalists are busy. Keep pitches concise, relevant, and personalized whenever possible. Deliver on promises. If you say you'll provide a quote or data by a deadline, ensure you do. Reliability builds trust.

    One success story comes to mind. We consistently provided a journalist with industry insights and timely data. When a major industry event occurred, they contacted us first for a comment. This led to a featured article, boosting our brand's visibility significantly. By providing value, respecting their time, and following through, we built a strong relationship that resulted in positive media coverage and increased brand awareness. This approach has proven essential for our business growth.

    Shane McEvoy
    Shane McEvoyMD, Flycast Media

    Mutually Beneficial Media Connections

    Building strong connections with the media is a mutually advantageous endeavor. Research journalists in your industry, offer expert insights and foster genuine connections. Take note of their recent articles, areas of focus, and preferred methods of communication. Don't send generic press releases. Highlight how your information benefits their audience. Be reliable and responsive. Consistently providing value can lead to positive media coverage and a wider reach for your brand.

    For example, you've built trust with an eco-conscious fashion journalist by providing insights on eco-friendly materials. When introducing a new clothing line made from recycled ocean plastic, you share exclusive details and high-quality images with the journalist. Impressed by your efforts, the journalist showcases your company in a positive article, reaching a broad audience of environmentally aware consumers. This achievement is all due to your trust in the journalist.

    Faizan Khan
    Faizan KhanPublic Relations and Content Marketing Specialist, Ubuy UK

    Provide Newsworthy Content and Insights

    We must understand that journalists are busy! To build and maintain relationships, I proactively offer journalists newsworthy content, industry insights, and expert quotes relevant to their stories. I keep pitches concise, relevant, and personalized. I follow through on my promises and consistently provide accurate, valuable information. This approach has led to many successful collaborations. My insights and data have helped them craft compelling pieces that generate industry buzz and position our company as a thought leader. I build strong media relationships that benefit both journalists and our company by fostering trust and providing value.

    Beth Worthy
    Beth WorthyCofounder and President, GMR Transcription Services, Inc.

    Engage Media Contacts on Social Media

    Building a media relationship really benefits from paying attention to the special, small details. You can pick up on these by following an editor's social media channels, like Twitter and LinkedIn. Engaging with media contacts on social media is a powerful strategy. This way, they see your name more frequently, helping you stand out when you make pitches. It also gives you insight into their personal and professional interests, which simplifies personalizing emails and saves you from doing excessive research.

    Being genuine is crucial in these interactions. For example, merely saying you loved their article on Taylor Swift’s latest album won’t cut it. Explain why you loved it, how you can relate to it, and how it connects to one of your clients.

    Craig Focht
    Craig FochtCofounder & CEO, All Pro Door Repair

    Prioritize Journalist Needs and Interests

    Building relationships with media contacts is all about being a valuable resource. So, I genuinely try to be helpful. When a reporter reaches out with a question, I prioritize getting them the information they need and offering additional insights they might find useful. I connect with them on LinkedIn or social media and engage with their content when it aligns with my industry. It shows I'm interested in their work and helps build rapport.

    Paul Chow
    Paul ChowCEO and Co-Founder, designdynamics.io

    Tailor Pitches to Journalist Interests

    Building strong relationships with media contacts is similar to fueling a vehicle for the long journey; it requires regular work and the appropriate approach. Here's what I've learned from my time at Fuel Logic and before, when I led at Network Logic.

    First, focus on the journalists who cover your industry. Research their areas of focus and personalize your approach to their individual needs. Don't just pitch press releases; provide important insights and exclusive data (if possible), or introduce them to industry experts.

    Remember that journalists are busy. Be concise, respectful of their time, and follow up thoughtfully, not constantly. A recent study by Muck Rack discovered that journalists are 14 times more likely to respond to a tailored pitch.

    Building trust takes effort, but it is worthwhile. Early at Fuel Logic, we had a relationship with a reporter from a prominent trucking publication. We regularly provided them with industry statistics on fuel efficiency trends, and in exchange, they highlighted Fuel Logic as a thought leader in their sustainability reporting. That single article created many qualified leads and established Fuel Logic as a reliable partner for environmentally aware transportation firms. It all comes down to making genuine connections and providing value—that keeps media relationships going well.

    Eliot Vancil
    Eliot VancilCEO, Fuel Logic

    Ensure Mutual Exchange of Value

    No one wants to connect with someone who won't give them any benefit, so we make sure there is a mutual exchange of value.

    What we do is invest in tools and platforms where we can connect with these media contacts and ensure it's a two-way relationship. No one wants to connect with someone who won't give them any benefit, so we make sure there is a mutual exchange of value. This may include providing exclusive stories in our industry, timely and relevant information, or opportunities for collaboration. Maintaining transparent and respectful communication is the cornerstone of our approach, allowing both parties to thrive and ultimately leading to more fruitful and long-lasting partnerships.

    David Rubie-Todd
    David Rubie-ToddCo-Founder & Marketing Head, Sticker It

    Keep Media Contacts Informed and Engaged

    As I have learned in the business, relationships with media contacts spell the difference between a short stint and sustained success. Keeping my media contacts up to date with new product information, company milestones, and relevant industry trends helps keep our business at the top of their minds, as well as maintain our position as a valuable resource.

    I try as much as possible to personalize my communication and consider what the journalist has previously worked on to be able to tailor pitches to what that journalist covers. The secret to making long-term relationships with media is consistent, personalized communication and adding value to them through exclusive content.

    Lucas Riphagen
    Lucas RiphagenCo-owner, TriActiveUSA

    Maximize Exposure with Daily Content

    Our digital media company in the insurance industry builds and maintains relationships with media contacts by producing content daily from insurance experts for a variety of outlets to maximize exposure. We utilize content-creation platforms such as Featured and link-building collaborators such as Connectively, as well as a link-building agency.

    One of our biggest success stories stems from a strong media relationship with Cision. Each of our press releases usually averages pickups on over 300 sites. But that average has increased in recent months, including 534 pickups in March for "QuickQuote.com Reports: Accidental Death Coverage Is Worth the $4 a Month" and 753 pickups in April for "GEICO Has the Best Auto Insurance for Immigrants: Just $30 a Month."

    Michelle Robbins
    Michelle RobbinsLicensed Insurance Agent, USInsuranceAgents.com

    Secure In-Depth Features through Exclusivity

    Building and maintaining relationships with media contacts is crucial for any business, and I've seen remarkable success through a strategic, value-driven approach. One notable example from my experience was working on a rebranding campaign for a local Irish business, where we collaborated with a prominent local journalist. By offering exclusive insights into our client's digital transformation and arranging a private preview of their new website, we secured an in-depth feature article. This coverage resulted in a 35% increase in website traffic within the first month.

    Similarly, I collaborated with a tech influencer during a product launch for our SEO services. We provided them with early access to our new SEO Audit Tool and facilitated a comprehensive demo, which led to a glowing review and multiple mentions on their social media channels. The outcome was a significant 40% surge in inquiries and trial sign-ups. The key was ensuring the influencer felt like a valued insider, which translated into authentic and enthusiastic coverage.

    To maintain these relationships, I focus on continuous engagement beyond just pitching stories. This includes regularly sharing industry insights, offering early access to our new tools and services, and publicly acknowledging their contributions through social media shout-outs. A strategy that worked well was providing exclusive content updates and insider tips on SEO trends, which kept the journalists and influencers engaged and eager to collaborate on future projects. This approach ensures that media contacts feel valued and appreciated, fostering sustained and meaningful partnerships.

    Rhealyn Mugri
    Rhealyn MugriFounder, The Digital Projects

    Offer Exclusive Content for Insider Feel

    Building and maintaining relationships with media contacts is a core component of my methodology, particularly in the realm of startups and tech. From my experience, one key strategy is to provide media contacts with exclusive content and early access to help them feel like insiders. For instance, during the launch of PacketBase, I cultivated a relationship with a well-known tech journalist by offering them an exclusive first look at our cloud communication solutions. This led to a feature in a leading tech publication, resulting in a 25% spike in our website traffic and a notable increase in partnership inquiries.

    Another success story comes from my time advising startups in the D2C marketing space. I engaged with a prominent lifestyle blogger by giving them a sneak peek of a new product line and facilitating a detailed interview with the founder. This personal touch ensured the blogger felt valued and informed, which translated into a highly enthusiastic blog post that drove a 30% increase in product sign-ups within a month. The takeaway here was that making media contacts feel integral to the story leads to more passionate and genuine coverage.

    To maintain these relationships, I focus on continuous, value-driven engagement. Regularly sharing industry insights, and exclusive previews, and acknowledging their contributions through social media shout-outs is essential. For example, during a recent SaaS product launch, I kept a tech influencer constantly updated with insider information and exclusive content, resulting in sustained coverage and a 40% increase in trial subscriptions. This ongoing, genuine interaction ensures that media contacts remain enthusiastic and supportive.

    Gary Gilkison
    Gary GilkisonPrincipal Analyst, Riverbase Cloud

    Cultivate Trust with Insightful Analysis

    Strong relationships, in my opinion, are cultivated by being there for people when they need you. The way I accomplish this is by keeping up with news and trends in the sector, which enables me to provide insightful analysis and opinions to media contacts working on stories. Building trust is something else I place a high priority on, whether it's through knowledge sharing or putting them in touch with other pertinent sources. For example, by providing the writer with timely and relevant material, I once assisted a client in getting a major feature in a top industry newsletter. The post positioned our client as thought leaders in their industry and brought a lot of traffic to their website.

    Kartik Ahuja
    Kartik AhujaDigital Marketer, kartikahuja.com

    Authentic Engagements for Mutual Benefit

    Building and maintaining relationships with media contacts is all about authenticity and mutual benefit. At OneStop Northwest LLC, I've prioritized genuine, value-driven engagements to cultivate these relationships. One effective strategy I've employed is offering exclusive access and timely insights. For example, during a rebranding campaign for a local Portland coffee shop, we collaborated closely with a local food critic. We provided them with early access to the new menu and invited them to a private tasting event. This led to a detailed and enthusiastic review that resulted in a 30% increase in foot traffic over the following month.

    Another success story is a partnership with a well-known Portland influencer during a social media campaign. By aligning our brand values and creating content that resonated with their audience, we managed to boost our client's social media following by 25% in just three weeks. This included behind-the-scenes content, exclusive interviews, and user-generated content challenges that kept the engagement high.

    To maintain these relationships, continuous engagement is key. I make it a point to go beyond transactional interactions by regularly sharing useful industry insights and providing early access to new developments. Personalized follow-ups and acknowledging their contributions publicly also go a long way. This iterative process builds trust and ensures that media contacts feel valued and appreciated, making them more likely to support our future endeavors.

    Dylan Cleppe
    Dylan CleppeCo-Founder & CEO, OneStop Northwest LLC

    Repeated Engagement and Respect

    Success comes from repeated engagement and respect.

    It's important to keep in mind what journalists and publications need/are interested in. When you read their work and customize your pitches to what they care about, you are respecting their time and respecting what they focus on professionally.

    You should also keep in touch regularly with your customers. This means keeping in touch with them via bespoke emails, subtle social media interactions, and the occasional email darting across their inbox, just to check in to see if they are okay (as opposed to just emailing them when you need something from them). Giving unique perspectives, publishing expert words of wisdom, or even giving early news access gives you good faith and credibility.

    One of my success stories is from working with a tech startup. I approached a journalist I had known for several years for a significant product launch. We were able to secure longer-form coverage that not only provided us with a first look but also an in-depth interview with our CEO that helped us achieve greater visibility—which subsequently resulted in increased customer inquiries and investor interest. That one media coverage altered the nature of the game for our startup, all thanks to this one relationship.

    Staci Anderson
    Staci AndersonDirector of Marketing, Raynor Garage Doors

    Strategic Communication and Mutual Value

    Building and maintaining relationships with media contacts involves consistent, strategic communication and mutual value creation. First, identify relevant journalists, bloggers, and influencers in your industry and follow their work to understand their interests and preferences. Establish initial contact through personalized emails, social media interactions, or networking events, offering valuable insights or story ideas that align with their focus areas. Consistency is key, so regularly update your media contacts with press releases, exclusive content, or industry trends, ensuring your communication is timely and relevant.

    To maintain these relationships, be responsive and professional, respecting their deadlines and editorial guidelines. Offer exclusive access to events, interviews, or product launches, and express genuine appreciation for their coverage. Building trust and demonstrating reliability will foster long-term partnerships.

    A success story from a strong media relationship occurred when we launched a new product. By leveraging our established connection with a top industry journalist, we secured an exclusive feature in a leading publication. This coverage generated significant buzz, leading to a 30% increase in sales within the first month and substantial media interest. The journalist appreciated the exclusive scoop and continued to feature our brand in future articles, solidifying a mutually beneficial relationship.

    Omer Lewinsohn
    Omer LewinsohnGeneral Manager, Marketing Expert, Management.org

    Leverage Social Proof with Media Contacts

    Building and maintaining relationships with media contacts is fundamental to our success at AQ Marketing. From my extensive experience, I've found that transparency and value-driven engagement are critical. One approach I consistently use is leveraging social proof—we've seen a marked influence on consumer decisions by showcasing testimonials and case studies. When media contacts see real stories of success, they're more likely to cover your business.

    A standout success story involves a digital marketing campaign we executed for a local restaurant. By maintaining a close relationship with a food blogger, who is also a frequent patron of our client, we provided them with exclusive insights into the client's rebranding strategy and invited them to a 'soft launch' event. This led to a detailed blog post and multiple social media shout-outs. The coverage resulted in a 35% boost in foot traffic to the restaurant in just two weeks.

    To maintain such relationships, I ensure we're constantly engaging beyond just our needs. Regularly sharing industry insights, offering early access to our clients' new features or services, and creating genuine connections over time have been beneficial. For instance, when negative reviews come in, I promptly respond and take actionable steps to resolve them, which builds our media credibility. This continuous, meaningful interaction ensures that our media contacts feel valued and are more willing to support us.

    Robert P. Dickey
    Robert P. DickeyPresident and CEO, AQ Marketing

    Continuous Engagement Beyond Pitching

    Building and maintaining relationships with media contacts hinges on being transparent, consistent, and delivering genuine value. At Cleartail Marketing, one of our significant success stories involved a comprehensive digital marketing campaign for a B2B tech client. We established a solid relationship with a key tech journalist by providing exclusive insights and early access to the product. This partnership resulted in a detailed feature article that dramatically boosted the client’s website traffic by over 14,000 percent.

    Another remarkable example was our work with a SaaS company where we cultivated a relationship with an industry-leading blogger. By offering them regular updates, exclusive sneak peeks, and insightful data, we secured numerous blog posts and social media mentions, which led to a 40 percent increase in qualified sales calls per month. The key was making the media contact feel like an integral part of our client’s growth story, ensuring authentic and enthusiastic coverage.

    To maintain these relationships, I prioritize continuous engagement beyond just pitching stories. This involves sharing industry trends, offering early access to major announcements, and providing personalized follow-ups. For instance, in our reputation management service, we keep media contacts updated with real-time insights and success metrics, ensuring they always have fresh, relevant content. This consistent, value-driven interaction helps in nurturing long-term media relationships that are mutually beneficial.

    Magee Clegg
    Magee CleggCEO, Cleartail Marketing

    Transparency and Consistent Media Engagement

    Building and maintaining relationships with media contacts is crucial for any marketer aiming for long-term success. My approach combines transparency, consistent engagement, and providing genuine value. One notable example from my career involves a rebranding project for a lifestyle SaaS company. We partnered with a leading industry journalist, offering them exclusive previews of our new features and an in-depth interview with the founders. This access resulted in a comprehensive article that increased our user sign-ups by 40% within the first month.

    Another success story revolves around a product launch for a cutting-edge e-commerce platform. We developed a close relationship with a tech influencer, providing them with early access and a demo of our platform. Their subsequent review and social media shout-outs led to a 30% surge in traffic and a significant uptick in trial subscriptions. Making the influencer feel like an insider was key to this success, as it fostered genuine excitement and authentic coverage.

    To maintain these relationships, I prioritize ongoing interaction beyond just pitching stories. For instance, I regularly share industry insights, offer exclusive sneak peeks of upcoming projects, and publicly acknowledge their contributions through social media shout-outs. By ensuring that our media contacts feel valued and integral to our storytelling, we not only strengthen these relationships but also guarantee sustained and enthusiastic media coverage.

    Haiko de Poel
    Haiko de PoelOwner, Mass Impact

    Consistency and Value in Media Interactions

    Building and maintaining relationships with media contacts has been pivotal in my career, particularly in the digital marketing landscape. One essential practice I follow is providing consistency and genuine value in every interaction. For example, in one of my previous startups, we focused on a press-release strategy to maintain a steady stream of communication with media contacts, controlling the narrative and ensuring that they always had timely, relevant content to share. This approach helped us gain valuable backlinks and significantly improved our search engine rankings.

    A standout success story involves our collaboration with a leading tech blog during the launch of a new software product. We provided them with an exclusive preview and detailed insights into our product development process. The blog post that resulted from this collaboration not only drove a 30% increase in website traffic but also doubled our trial subscriptions. The key was offering the journalist something unique and valuable, making them feel like an insider in our journey.

    To sustain these relationships, transparency, and regular engagement are crucial. I ensure continuous interaction by sharing industry insights, offering exclusive looks at upcoming projects, and publicly acknowledging their contributions. A strategy that has worked well involves hosting follow-up activities post-campaign—such as sharing customer testimonials or highlights from events—to keep the momentum and engagement alive. This iterative process strengthens bonds with media contacts, ensuring they consistently view us as a valuable source of information and insight.

    Joe Amaral
    Joe AmaralFounder & COO, Anthem Software

    Foster Trust with Valuable Insights

    Building media relationships involves genuine engagement and consistency. Regularly sharing valuable insights and updates about Caption Easy has fostered trust. Once, after consistently providing useful content, a journalist featured us in a major publication, significantly boosting our visibility. This success came from maintaining open, authentic communication and being a reliable source, proving that strong media ties can greatly amplify your reach and credibility.

    Khurram Suhrwardy
    Khurram SuhrwardyCEO, Caption Easy

    Nurture Media Relationships with Exclusive Events

    Building and maintaining relationships with media contacts involves regular communication, providing valuable content, and being reliable. We host media events and offer exclusive insights to nurture these connections. A success story is when a strong relationship with a tech journalist led to a feature article on our latest digital-signage innovation. This coverage significantly boosted our visibility and credibility, resulting in increased inquiries and sales. Consistent engagement and value creation are key.

    Alex Taylor
    Alex TaylorHead of Marketing, CrownTV