Introduction. Questions. Value.
This is basically the approach that I take when trying to establish a relationship with editors and writers.
The introduction can be done a variety of ways – usually it’s via e-mail, phone, or through a face-to-face meeting. Chances are you will
not get a face-to-face meeting unless you are at a particularly well-known and well-trusted company, or you’re prepared to break a story exclusively through one source of media.
Personally, I prefer to send a well-crafted e-mail. I think sending an e-mail is great for a few reasons.
– It allows you to show the journalist that you can write to their standards.
– It allows for time shifting. If the editor or journalist is busy, they can reply later.
– It gives you more time to make your pitch.
– It can be archived by the editor or journalist.
What to include in your introduction
Your name, company/organization name, brief description of your company and why you think their media outlet would want to cover your business now or in the future.
I usually ask about lead times for stories and when are the normal story deadlines. If you’re talking to a publication, ask who
to contact about press releases. If you’re talking to a magazine, ask if you can have a copy of the editorial calendar.
Asking questions is important. It allows you to get a sense of if they’re truly interested in using you or someone at your company as a
source. In addition, it allows you to provide materials and resources to their standards, which is underrated and goes along way to developing a good relationship.
One thing to do prior to sending out e-mails and phone calls is to do some research on the media outlet. Find out who the editors are that
you need to talk to. Don’t expect e-mails or phone calls to get through without a name and knowing about the publication’s focus.