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Articles from Christian Marketing Done Right

Rules of Engagement for Media Relations Professionals

  • Develop a relationship with the right editors, niche reporters and producers. Research who they are, what they like to cover, what they've written or produced in the past, what they're currently working on and contact them only with newsworthy material they'll be interested in receiving.

  • Gain perspective and genuine interest. Media professionals appreciate when they know you follow their work and actually have a real interest in their blog, publication, station, or show. Everyone wants to do business with like-minded professionals - once you show a real interest, you're able to offer new pitch ideas and real client opportunities.

  • Adhere to and be sensitive to media professional deadlines. Nothing is more irritating to an editor, reporter or producer, than to receive pitches while under tight deadlines - unless of course the topic is breaking news or highly relevant. Be sure to follow editorial calendars and develop your pitch well in advance of their deadlines - doing so will help you earn credibility for those moments when you DO have to contact them on deadline.

  • Be relevant and speak their language. Media professionals will look to PR sources when they know you deliver relevant and newsworthy information. Be sure your material is formatted the way they want to receive it (as each outlet has a specific style and content preference) and be ready for on-the-fly changes, edits and interviews.

  • Develop an appropriate media kit. Media kits are important - but don't over-do-it. The kit should be "media tailored" - not "client tailored".

  • Research and research again. This will help you stay on-top of the news and assist in developing your media list. Connect with media professionals who have covered your clients in the past. Position your client as an expert who is available for interview, follow-up stories or future coverage of certain topics.

  • Be respectful and have manners. Be sure to say "please" and "thank you." Perhaps, "I hope I'm not catching you on deadline." If they say, "yes, I'm on deadline," quickly apologize and say you'll contact them tomorrow - unless of course your pitch is highly relevant and needs their attention at that moment.

  • Demonstrate appreciation. So much of what we do as media relation experts relies on what our media contacts do - so be sure to express appreciation and respect - doing so will go along way in developing a long-lasting relationship.