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Media Relations

Index

Key Concepts

1. Defining Relationships

2. Building Relationships

3. Maintaining Relationships

4. In Person Demos

5. Strategy

6. Corporate Comms

Service | Media Relations

 

1. Defining Relationships

Media Relations, as the name implies, means building relationships with members of the media, this includes bloggers, journalists, and editors. Media Relations is important, because it gives you a direct line of communication to influential publications. Getting the attention of the media without a relationship is very difficult. Journalists receive hundreds of product pitches each day via email, so good products & pitches often get overlooked. The advantage of having a relationship with a journalist is that you have a much more direct line of communication with them, and are often able to call them over the phone to discuss clients and story ideas.

Media Relations is, classically speaking, different from public relations, although the two terms are used interchangeably today. Media Relations means building relationships with journalists and pitching them your clients news (ie. “getting press”). Public Relations (again, classically speaking) is defined as influencing how someone (or a company) appears in the press (ie. how they look). Public Relations refers to a very broad spectrum of work, from crisis communications to thought leadership.

 

2. Building Relationships

A relationship with a journalist can begin many different ways. From sending an email to meeting at a startup conference, journalists are always on the lookout for new story sources. Since this pertains mainly to startup & product journalism, these stories always have to come from publicists and startups that are making good product. This is good news, because journalists in this sector are more reliant on publicists and startups compared to any other.

Being based in either New York City or San Francisco is crucial when it comes to networking with the media. There are journalists at every conference (especially technology conferences in San Francisco). Conferences are perhaps the best avenue for networking with journalists, as an in-person relationships is always stronger than an email relationship.

 

3. Maintaining Relationships

An introduction to someone is merely the beginning of a relationship. Unlike normal personal relationships, working relationships require much work and strategy. You can’t just contact journalists you’ve been introduced to and ask them how their day was and make small talk. Concurrently, you can’t only contact them only to pitch them your clients. The job of a publicist is to curry favor with journalists and get them on the highest level possible of communication (ie. ability to call them or meet them in person). Charming & manipulating people in this manner is an art, which is why “publicist” is a professional position which requires skills that not everyone has.

 

4. In Person Demos

If you’re based in NYC or SF (or willing to travel there) and have a great product worth looking at, then odds are that several journalists may be interested in an in person demo where you come to their office and demonstrate your product to them. This is primarily used in big tech crowdfunding campaigns that are claiming functionality that may be hard to believe works. An in person demo is a quick way to over come any doubts and give the journalist a much needed push to cover the product.