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Media Relations

Index

Key Concepts

1. Defining Relationships

2. Building Relationships

3. Maintaining Relationships

4. In Person Demos

Service | Media Relations

 

1. Defining Relationships

Media Relations is defined as the process of building relationships with members of the media, this includes bloggers, journalists, and editors. Media Relations is important because it provides a direct line of communication to influential publications. Getting the attention of a media outlet without a relationship is very difficult. Journalists receive hundreds of product pitches each day via email, so good products and pitches often get overlooked. The advantage of having relationships with journalists is that we know for certain the pitch is heard and are provided enough social capital for the possibility of persuading the journalist to our cause. Each day we have calls with journalists 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 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 and 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. One can’t just contact journalists they’ve recently been introduced to and ask them how their day was and make small talk. Concurrently, one can’t only contact them only to pitch them 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 and 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 are a company or founder that is 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 our clients can come to the office of the journalist and demonstrate the 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.