Marketing Monday: How to build a better relationship with the media

I’ve been on both sides of the media relationship — I’ve been a reporter and editor getting pitched every day and I’ve worked in public relations trying to get journalists interested in covering University of Michigan.

Like any relationship, when it works well, everyone wins. The journalist gets to tell an interesting story she might not have otherwise known about, the PR person gets media exposure for his client.

When it doesn’t work?

Smarmy PR people hound reporters with pitches that are dull, corny or a terrible fit for the news outlet. Sources cringe when they see a story that doesn’t feel like an accurate representation of what they do.  Good stories go untold because they aren’t presented well.

With the goal of fostering beneficial media relationships that help achieve marketing goals, I taught a webinar for Farmers Market Coalition members with tips on media relations.

Even naming the class was an opportunity to discuss my philosophy of media relations. The proposed name of the program was “How to Pick Up a Reporter,” which makes absolute sense when you’re thinking, “How do I get that one next story written about my business?” I think it’s beneficial to think of nurturing a long-term relationship with reporters, instead of aiming for a one-night stand.

Below is a recording of that one-hour webinar:

If you don’t have an hour and just want to skim my PowerPoint slides:

Colleen Newvine Tebeau is a former reporter and editor who then earned her MBA at University of Michigan with emphases in marketing and corporate strategy.  She is a marketing consultant who helps small and midsized organizations with strategy and tactics, including social media and communications.
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