Building Up Those Relationships First

pr2When you boil it all down so to speak, public relations is all about networking. It’s important to build up a relationship with individuals who are responsible for media promotion. In this way you can often generate publicity for your organisation that’s essentially free.

Remember that individual journalists are always on the lookout for a new angle and stories that they can promote to their readers and viewers. While some of them are entirely proactive and go out and find the answers they’re looking for, many will nevertheless rely on input from public relations officers and publicists. There’s nothing to stop you from being a publicist for your organisation without having to spend a lot of money on creating and distributing professional press releases.

To start the ball rolling here it’s necessary to conduct a certain amount of research. You need to determine where you want your message to be seen in terms of media outlets and publications. Ask your virtual assistant to do this research and to create a spreadsheet with all the relevant contact details.

Get to know the journalist who covers your particular area of interest by first of all studying their writing style and what they normally focus on. Get a good feeling for the type of audience they like to talk to and in particular focus on the type of “hook” that they like to use when spinning the story. To put it another way, what seems to be most of interest to them and by definition their readers; in light of this, how could you “sell” your story to them down the road?

Once your virtual assistant has taken the time to gather all this information and come up with an assessment of the journalist, then it’s time for you to introduce yourself and your organisation. You don’t have to try and sell yourself or your story at this point, but it’s always good to introduce yourself as a source of information related to the piece. It’s also a good idea to be seen as impartial to as large a degree as you can. Of course you have an ulterior motive and the journalist will understand and respect that, but you’re trying to establish yourself as the “go to” person in their eyes. Whenever something happens in the news related to your niche then he or she is likely to contact you directly for your help and guidance as they write their piece.

The trick here is to be seen as a trusted resource and the authority when it comes to your field of operations. The more that you do so with journalists in your niche, then the more these free opportunities for publicity will come along. You may need no more than the mention of your name and organisation to start a considerable amount of interest in what you do. If people hear about you due to your classification as an expert by trusted media outlets then you can gain exponentially in terms of sales as time goes by.

How do you build your business relationships in the PR arena?