5 Tips to Network Effectively in the World of Public Relations
The public relations world is fast-moving. The next pitch or press release you send out could be planned, or you could be heading into crisis mode and are pumping out a release to keep your brand, or your client’s brand, from taking too big of a hit.
Before you get to the point of sending out a press release or pitch to the media, there’s a few key networking tactics you should know beforehand.
1. Research who you’re pitching to
Every journalist is going to cover a different beat than the next one. If you’re pitching a specific topic, like travel, find the reporter at each publication or network that is going to be the most interested in your story. This will give you the best chance to get your story picked up. On most publication and networks websites, there are extensive bios about reporters, their interests, and what they cover. Take advantage of that information.
2. Build a relationship before you need it
Research who you’re going to be pitching to BEFORE you have to pitch to them. This is the perfect chance to introduce yourself, your client and give them any information you want to provide.
3. Keep an open line of communication
When you introduce yourself to the media or are sending out that first pitch, make sure you put the best ways to contact you directly in that email. It’s also helpful to reassure them that they can contact you.
4. Use the right tools
It can be hard to keep track of all the media outlets you’re pitching to. Some people go old school with massive excel spreadsheets full of contact info, but there are also online programs like Insightly and Propel (which was built by PR professionals) that will keep all that organized for you and make sending out your pitches a breeze. You can categorize your contacts by industry, publication, and more. If you’re not using a CRM or customer relationship management software yet, check them out.
5. Use social media
It goes without saying, social media is essential for public relations. It’s also a great tool for interacting with reporters, publications, and even newsletters. Tweet them, like their stuff, engage with them as much as possible. Having that social media connection can make your pitch to stand out in an inbox full of story ideas.