Media relations is a relationship between a spokesperson and a journalist. Like all relationships, it requires nurturing. Tips:
- Suggest stories that have nothing to do with you or your company – and provide introductions to good sources.
- Make yourself available as quickly as possible to meet their deadlines.
- Help them understand the context of an issue with background information – even if you aren’t quoted.
- Thank them for interviewing you.
- Comment on their stories – whether the article included you or not. They like to know they were accurate and how well they did explaining a complex issue in a simple way.
- Give. Many outlets forbid journalists to keep gifts of any dollar value, but praise, insight and relevant information are always welcome.
And, just like you never want to tell your wife she looks fat in those pants, there are things you never want to say to journalists. Twelve of these are captured in this great piece from Ragan.com.