Public Relations is all about people. Creating connections within the industry, connecting your audience with others and cultivating a brand image is just the tip of the iceberg. How do we do all this? By creating solid and genuine editorial relationships. Morgan Lawrence, Director of Communications at THE rAVe Agency, sat down with three experienced and trusted industry journalists to hear their take on the do’s and don’ts for PR and marketing professionals when working with journalists. Alesia Hendley, Multimedia Journalist and Content Creator, Megan A. Dutta, Editor-in-Chief of LAVNCH [CODE] and Dan Ferrisi, Editor-in-Chief of Commercial Integrator did not hold back their secrets.
Understand Our Audience
We all have a role to play and an audience to serve. You want to showcase your client’s products and services and editors want to create relevant and engaging content for their readers. So, before sending one press release to 20 different editors, take a moment to research each of their interests. If they don’t cover clients remotely similar to yours, don’t waste your time. If they do, cater your message to better fit their audience. This will make you look more professional and “if you can understand my language, that helps you stand out,” says Alesia.
Let’s face it, there is nothing fun about sending and receiving emails. But spending a few extra minutes explaining why your product matters to their audience or asking each editor, “What types of services, products, news would you like to see?” adds a human touch we so often lose over email. “I want you to understand what our audience is and what our beat is and how we can have mutually aligned interests,” says Dan, “The only way we can find the nexus of those two things… is to learn from each other and talk to each other,” echoing Alesia’s point.
The Little Things Make a Difference
Everyone is busy, so when you put in a little bit of effort to make someone’s life easier, it’s appreciated. The same goes for editors. Spend an extra five minutes to ensure you’ve included everything they need and more for your press release and eliminate any unnecessary steps they may have to take to publish it. You’ll almost always get more placements! Extra steps are barriers to getting your client’s message out quickly and accurately. A couple of tips Megan, Dan and Alesia shared were: Always include a picture, never send a pdf as they are hard to copy and paste from, name your files so they don’t get lost in the download process and include social media handles to links to embed in the press release. “We want you to help us to help you. So many people want our attention, so if you can have a leg up, it makes a difference,” said Dan. “[Following these tips] is going to enable you to serve your clients better, get you more placements and allow us to serve our clients better.”
“These relationships are reciprocal and mutually beneficial,” says Megan. When you start viewing people as people, not work professionals, you will build authentic relationships. Editors are humans too! Not just robots pushing out press releases. Like in any other relationship, how do you get to know someone? Grab a coffee, chat outside of a work event, keep in touch on social media, etc. Get to know their story and what they are passionate about. Making yourself known on social media is a great way to do this as well. We can see your personality and we get invested in your life as a friend not just work associates, stated Megan.
Cultivating editorial relationships is one of the most essential tools for community outreach, but remember, every story has a person behind it. Start getting to know others in the industry for their passions and interests, not just what they can do for you, and the business will easily follow. Use these tips to start building those genuine, dependable relationships with media professionals today!
You can watch our “Creating Strong Editorial Relationships” LAVNCH & LEARN here.