Once your “Love Potion” has taken effect—that is, once you have a journalist’s attention– here are a few tips on how to keep it:
- Get to the point. Keep it simple. When talking to the media it’s time to break out your “elevator pitch” – you remember, that one to two minute snappy description of what you do and why it’s newsworthy right now. Stay on message and keep it simple. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Silly) will win the day!
- Make it easy for the media to contact you. If you’re hard to reach or you’re slow to respond, the media will just go to the next person on their list. Here’s a simple trick I swear by: Use a landline while talking to media. We all know how frustrating static and dropped calls can be. Being a clear voice on the phone can take you farther than you think.
- Give the media what they want when they want it. Journalists are under a lot of tight deadlines. Make their job easier and you’re sure to get repeat PR. If you’re difficult to work with, you won’t be contacted again.
- When the media contacts you – be amazing… so you’ll be sought out again and again. Two tricks to being amazing: 1- Do your homework! Have your pitch prepared and know the points you want to hit. And STAY ON MESSAGE! 2 – Listen to the journalist. What are they asking for? Not sure? Ask them directly what more you can do to help them with their story. The more positive the interaction, the more the journalist will be compelled to work with you again.
This leads to my last point:
- Build a relationship; be concerned about their needs– not yours. As budgets get cut and news outlets struggle, journalists’ jobs are becoming more and more stressful. Be a resource for them. Filter out relevant information and supply them with additional resources. Make their jobs easier and you will become their go-to contact in your field – and that’s priceless.