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10 tips to get to know your media

If you get to know your target media then you’re far more likely to be successful with that media. A little bit of effort, research and building of relationships will make for a better connection. It’s not difficult but it does take time and persistence. Give these tips a go and you’re on the road to success.

Research: The more you know about the journalist, the media and the type of stories that they write, broadcast or air, the more chance you’ll have of success. By taking time to understand the journalist or broadcaster, you’re much more likely to make a real connection. If you make the effort, eventually it will be rewarded.

Phone: The one thing that most in communications don’t do today or do enough of, is pick up the phone. There is too much emphasis on electronic communication – texting, mailing or using social media. When you have a good story, it pays to pick up the phone and call the journalist. Keep it short and succinct and it will pay off.

Email: Email is preferred by most journalists but you are competing against a deluge of other emails trying to get the attention of that journalist. Send the email but follow it up with a call.

Audience: The asset the media has is audience. If you can help a journalist with content that will be of interest to their audience, then you become an asset to that journalist. Taking time to understand your target media’s audience, will ensure your pitch is properly framed and targeted.

Events: It would be remiss of me not to mention my own event #MeetTheMedia where media gather to meet the experts and new talent coming through the ranks. Other events like Meet The Press and Fairfax’s Masterclasses are also quality events that will get you in front of media and assist you in making meaningful connections.

Coffee: Invite a journalist out for a coffee. They well may take you up on it. Very few these days would get out to lunch or to after-work drinks, unlike the old days. They are busier than ever but if you have content, you will be of interest.

Twitter: I cannot stress enough the value of Twitter for those of you wanting to connect with a journalist. They don’t necessarily need to follow you but if you are following them, you can see what piques their interest. It’s great intelligence to have, and we at Media Stable use it regularly.

Consultant: A well-connected consultant can be a great investment in getting to know your media but at the same time, it might also be a very poor investment. Before committing to a particular consultant, ask them to identify the journalists and media they connect with regularly. It is crucial you do your homework here.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a wonderful way to get background on the journalist you are looking to connect with. If you can make a connection, it’s a great way to build a relationship where you can learn about them, as they can about you.

Introduction: Who do you know who knows a journalist? Who can help you make an introduction to the producer, journalist or presenter via new or traditional means? Employ your own network to get to your media.

Written by Nic Hayes, Managing Director of Media Stable and co-host of Brand Newsroom podcast.

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