Reporters love sources who understand their needs. Getting a call from a reporter who wants to quote you as an expert for his story, review your products or services, or invite you to write an exclusive article for a publication, is a major coup. It means that your marketing efforts are paying off. Who would blow such an opportunity?
Unfortunately, a lot of people do. Those who don't understand journalists' deadlines and needs are liable to be quickly passed over in favor of sources who do. That lack of knowledge can also rack up lots of wasted time and money for those who take a shotgun approach to blasting their message or products to any and all journalists. If you don't consider their individual needs, you're likely making a futile effort.
After a decade of working with journalists, arranging for interviews with and exclusive articles by the experts our public relations firm represents, I've learned what works - and what doesn't - for them.
Here are a few of my tips for becoming a favorite news source:
Being prompt, accommodating, and reliable may also have some other benefits: You could become the source the journalist saves in his Rolodex and you might just hear from him again. Or, you may get a call from one of his colleagues; fellow staffers often share their good sources.
Whether the medium is a newspaper, magazine, or blog, the journalists' work can result in far-reaching exposure for your business. Their articles are likely to be disseminated all over the Internet; one story could be seen by 1 million readers. How's that for a return on your investment?
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