A big obstacle that people will face is their lack of awareness about what they need to do to build relationships with media contacts. When you apply a a strategy to approach them correctly, you will set yourself apart from people who are not thinking things through before they contact people in the media.
All too often, well-intended people take the wrong approach. They either want to present something that is a new product, may be something that they believe would be good for the magazine’s subscriber list. Asking yourself and acting on what you can do to help the media contact is really something you want to pay attention to. Ask yourself a few questions:
How can I help this reporter or this magazine with content that I have that’s relevant to their readers? What can I do to make the media contact’s job easier? At what times and with what frequency should I make attempts to reach contact in the media at a specific media outlet?
Also, knowing when to time your conversations and your dialog with people in the media is very important to helping you get engaged with them. It comes as a surprise to me that a lot of times when people are trying to sell themselves or their ideas, they’re not focused on what they need to do to build the relationship with a media contact.
Think about and act on what you need to do to build the relationship and empathize with that person who works for the media. Think about what may go through their mind when someone like you is actually approaching them. Thinking through what you can do on the front end to build relationships with media contacts the smart way can really set you apart from others who may not be doing this effectively. Once it’s done correctly, the benefits are enormous. Once you have a relationship with someone in the media, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to approach them on projects that come up in the future.
As with any other form of business, people need to trust you. People need to know who you are, where you’ve been, why you’re trying to work with them and most important, having that trust can really set you apart from others who are not working on the relationship.