8 networking tips to strengthen reporter relationships
Media coverage offers a prime opportunity to grow relationships and expand your circle of influence, but you have to strike—thoughtfully and strategically—while the iron’s hot.
Here are eight networking tips to stretch your reach, create new allies and maximize your coverage:
1. Send a handwritten thank-you note to the blogger, editor or journalist who wrote about you
Putting a handwritten thank-you message in a writer’s mailbox immediately separates you from 99 percent of other communicators. Just get out a pen, write something thoughtful and add a stamp.
Thank-you notes are a networker’s secret weapon.
2. Ask your community to thank the blogger, editor or journalist
Having a few friends send a quick note to the writer is always an unexpected, pleasant surprise.
It shows you have connections who are paying attention. It’s also a good way to connect people who may become valuable contacts in the future.
3. Connect with the writer on LinkedIn
A LinkedIn connection request can be another form of thank-you message.
It’s also an easy way to create a more enduring connection so you can stay in touch and gin up goodwill.
4. Add the writer to your list
Another way to keep track of writers in social media is to add them to your Twitter lists and Facebook groups.
5. Invite the writer to your next event
Do you have an event of your own scheduled? Invite the writer to attend. This will build a better connection and might lead to a bit of press for your event.
Are you going to an upcoming event? Invite the writer to join you. Maybe you can meet up for coffee beforehand or a beer after.
Inviting others to meet you at an event is a great way to create more personal connections and solidify your reputation as a reliable source.
6. Send the article to other journalists, outlets and bloggers
Don’t be afraid to reach beyond the original writer. Seek out other bloggers and members of the press who write about the topics covered in your piece. They may be interested in writing something similar for their audience or consider you as a source for another topic.
Once you have press, getting more of it is easier. The goal is to create a snowball effect. Here are a few places to find more members of the press:
When you share links with reporters, mention how well the story performed—including the number of shares.
7. Send the article to bloggers who write roundups
Bloggers who write roundups are always looking for relevant content. If the article fits their beat, send a quick message suggesting they include it.
8. Email the link to top sales prospects
Here’s how to use media coverage to lift sales:
- If you already have leads in your pipeline, you may be looking for reasons to reach out to them. A press mention is a perfect tool for that.
- If there are organizations out there you’d like to connect with, a press mention is a good way to reach out. Just find the relevant person on LinkedIn or ask a mutual connection for an introduction.
A short, simple email with a link to the article is a smart way to get on someone’s radar and build your credibility. If you want to know whether an email recipient clicked the link you sent, use a URL shortener like bit.ly. This lets you track the link. If clicks = 0, the recipient didn’t read it. If clicks = 1, he or she did.
Thoughtful, gracious networking that builds personal relationships and establishes genuine connections pays big dividends in the present, and it also lays the groundwork for more coverage down the road.