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How to build personal relationships with the media

By Katie Boyles

29724222_sStrong media relations are important to your company’s earned media coverage

Earned media coverage is more credible and resonates with audiences more successfully than advertisements. Media relations is one of the key responsibilities of public relations practitioners. Any company can send out a press release; anyone can email a news correspondent. But building personal relationships with the media is what will make earned media coverage accessible for your organization.


Your company’s story must stand out to the media in order to get your message across effectively. If you understand and follow the nine steps to earning media coverage as well as the importance of standing out from the hundreds of bad media pitches journalists see every day, your company has a higher chance of enjoying valuable earned media coverage.

It is important to know about each news correspondent. Check out their bio profiles on their news websites. Review their Twitter or LinkedIn profiles. What are they retweeting? What is important to them? Know their background and interests so you are prepared when you contact them.

Each media representative has particular stories and subjects that she enjoys and wants to cover. You must give reporters what they really want. Just as TV news stations, radio stations and newspapers have their own particular branches of focus, individual reporters also focus on certain subjects. Individual media personnel within a news station look for stories that match their usual coverage.

Recently, I talked with a television news anchor who is on the nightly broadcast. She said she looks for stories to center around a single person to show that person’s perspective. She also likes heart-warming, positive news, and animals are always a bonus. If your company knew this before sending your story to this particular reporter, you could angle your story toward her unique view in order to appeal to her specifically.

Build personal relationships with the media. Make sure they know you, as well. This makes it much easier for them to put your story out quickly and efficiently. When journalists personally know you as a credible and trusted resource, they have a good sense of what to expect when your company’s stories come to their attention.

Cultivating personal relationships with the media takes time, effort and nourishment. Axia Public Relations has established media relationships on local and national levels. To learn more, download our e-book Learn Media Relations From The Media: What journalist want you to know before you contact them.

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Katie Boyles is currently studying public relations at University of North Florida. She graduates in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in communication.

Featured image credit: 123rf.com

Topics: media relations, public relations, inbound marketing

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