1. Meet the media:
Nothing is more effective than meeting with a journalist in person. Shaking his hand and sharing your story at his office or while having coffee or lunch is invaluable. It is best for this to occur after having established a relationship with the journalist by email, phone, or in person.
2. Send an email:
A face-to-face meeting typically isn’t possible until you’ve connected with a reporter by email or phone. Keep initial emails short and factual to cut down on the time your message is demanding from the reporter. Once you have captured her interest, you can follow up with more information.
3. To call or not to call?
Getting a reporter on the phone for even 30 seconds can be significantly more effective than sending an email. In an age where people are more comfortable receiving emails and texts, some may consider phone calls interruptions. But if you do manage to speak on the phone with a reporter and you present yourself as courteous and professional, it can leave a lasting impression and help you forge future connections in the media.
4. What about a text?
Even if you have the reporter’s cell phone number, do not send him any text messages. This would only be appropriate if the reporter texted you first. Text messages are personal and should only be sent if a journalist is expecting a text from you.
5. Is social media too social?
It is best to use social media to create a connection with a reporter or cement relationships after you have met. Be smart about creating the connection. There’s no harm in following a reporter whose work you respect and admire on Twitter and retweeting or commenting on a story, or connecting with her on LinkedIn. A Facebook connection should be offered only after creating some level of friendship.
SunStar has helped introduce many firms to the right journalists and has spent years facilitating positive relationships between these companies and the media.
Looking for tips to make the most of your interview opportunity? Check out SunStar's Interview series.