With Valentineâ€™s Day fresh on the brain, I was thinking about how many of the same tenets for personal friendships or romantic relationships also apply to professional relationships with reporters or bloggers. The dance of communication (or miscommunication at times) plays a major role, and there must be interest on both sides for it to work. With the â€ťHallmark holidayâ€ť in mind, I offer five ways to a reporterâ€™s or bloggerâ€™s heartâ€¦Please drop a comment on whether these work for you or if you have others to add.
1)Â Â Â Show a Common Interest â€“ Do your research and demonstrate your familiarity with their work by reading their articles/posts before you contact them. This is a simple, but often overlooked, way to earn bonus points and to show them that youâ€™ve tailored your story idea for them rather than a mass reporter e-mail.
2)Â Â Â Know Their Communication Preferences â€“ Is a particular reporter always on Twitter but you canâ€™t get them on the phone or to respond to e-mail? Iâ€™ve recently had success with this one by sending a Twitter Direct Message to a hard-to-reach tech reporter (after we reciprocated follows) and got interest within minutes.
3)Â Â Â Stay in Touch â€“ After the correspondence for a particular story has wrapped it may seem unnecessary to continue the dialogue, but staying on the radar requires a little TLC. Donâ€™t be afraid to check in again in a month or two if you have another valuable market perspective to share or to see what the reporter or blogger is working on now.
4)Â Â Â Offer Interesting Stories â€“ Reporters and bloggers are always looking for a unique perspective to capture readersâ€™ attention, so up your chances of being included by giving them a spice of controversy (enough to pique attention without being reckless) or presenting a new or different angle for a relevant topic.
5)Â Â Â Follow Through â€“ Media contacts remember which marketing and PR professionals make their jobs easier by facilitating interviews around deadlines and providing requested follow-up material in a timely manner. They also remember the ones who donâ€™t, so deliver on your promises before closing out an interview or story.
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Finally! Young & Associates has its own blog. Welcome to The Matchbox. We are very excited to have a new channel to share with readers an inside view of how we work and think. Our goal is to offer our PR and marketing insights, best practices and challenges, with a conversational style that helps everyone get to know us better and hopefully offers some valuable tips along the way. The whole gang will be contributing â€“ both Jennifers (MacLeid Qotb and Mirabile), Eve, Jean and me â€“ and we invite you to comment and share as well. We donâ€™t expect everyone to always agree and hope for some lively discussions.
In arriving late to the blog party (can we even call it fashionably late at this point?), weâ€™d like to offer a few insights weâ€™ve dealt with along the way:
Donâ€™t over think it: A blog is not meant to be the be all and end all on any topic. Use blog posts as conversation starters.
Donâ€™t be everything to everyone: Our expertise is our PR and marketing counsel and that is what we intend to focus on, so while you will probably hear about some of our client pursuits this will not be a client industry forum and will not be a breaking news source.
Do be yourself: Young & Associates is a tenacious and aggressive agency with real insight to real business issues â€“ this is what we plan to share.
Do plan: While a blog should offer timely insight, have some back up or planned editorial content to fill in the holes when life â€“ or work in our case â€“ gets too busy.
Talk again soon.
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