We want our story in the news. After all news coverage is a key component of public relations. This also means having good relationships with reporters. The worst thing that can happen in public relations is being blacklisted by a reporter or producer. Here are 5 tips on how to avoid being blacklisted by the media:
1. Do your due diligence and follow up to ensure you have the right contacts. List generating tools and services are great, but because newsroom staffs change so frequently, they can still miss a few details.
2. Get to know the reporters on your list. Know how and when they prefer to be pitched, and research what they have recently written about. Following them on Twitter can be extremely helpful and informative.
3. While a targeted media list is important, so is a targeted pitch. It will take more time to tailor personalized emails to the reporters on your list, but also increase your chances for a response (and you’ll be less likely to be called out as a spammer).
4. Avoid sending attachments, even small items. They can clog inboxes and you may inadvertently pass along a virus. If you must send information beyond what you can encapsulate in a brief email, try sharing a link to an electronic press kit, where reporters can download information at their convenience.
5. Don’t be a pest. If a reporter doesn’t respond to email or phone messages it either means they are too busy or simply not interested. Take the hint, and move on.