It’s literally in the name. You can’t spell public relations without “relations”. So why is it so important to have local connections in the media? Won’t your content speak for itself, regardless of whether the person reviewing your email personally knows you? If only life were that simple! We all know that when you apply for a job, knowing someone at that company gives your resume a jump in line ahead of others, and it’s the same way when pitching to the media. Having personal connections is a pivotal part of public relations for several key reasons.
Reporters Need Publicists Just as Much as Publicists Need Reporters
Reporters have tight deadlines, and their sources aren’t always going to respond to them directly or in time for those deadlines. They need people in public relations that can help them secure quotes, answer questions, provide them with photos and gather what they need to meet their deadlines. Therefore, when you build a relationship with a reporter, that reporter will come to you with requests for last minute stories and that’s a free media hit for your team! In addition, reporters are likely to contact you again if they know they can count on you for quick and reliable content.
Just this past month, a Patch reporter reached out to us at 11pm, needing content for his article by 1pm the next day, and we delivered. He was grateful and stated we were his favorite publicists to work with.
Different Reporters Have Different Ways They Prefer To Be Contacted
Some reporters absolutely hate being called on the phone. Some respond better to phone calls than email. Certain reporters don’t mind seeing a story pitch on Twitter or Instagram, while others prefer to keep their social media life separate from their work. When you build a relationship with a reporter, you find out what works best for them. Building a relationship with them allows you to find out which days are best for them to receive content and which days they are on deadline and prefer not to be contacted.. All of this will allow you to plan your outreach around that schedule and increase your chances of getting attention.
Reporters you have a pre-existing relationship with will appreciate you meeting them halfway and taking into account how and when they prefer to be contacted and will in turn be more likely to respond and give positive coverage to your company.
Reporters Field Hundreds of Email Pitches Every Week
The unfortunate truth of public relations is that sometimes the best pitches ever written will go unread just because they get buried in an overflowing inbox. The best way to make sure a reporter opens your email is to have a relationship with that writer. Especially in local public relations, if a reporter knows that you live in their state and aren’t sending them an automated pitch from the other side of the country, then they are more likely to treat your emails as legitimate material vs. spam to delete.
Imagine you receive a hundred emails right now, and five of them are from people you know and have spoken to. Aren’t you more likely to open those five emails first? Reporters think just like the rest of us.
The Cyphers Agency has relationships with several key reporters and will always have a leg up in getting that next media win!
If you would like help with public relations, feel free to contact us. We offer a variety of services like digital marketing & analytics, marketing & brand strategy, and more to small and large companies.