In media relations, slow and steady wins the race
We’re not fans of the “spray and pray” method of sharing information with journalists. It doesn’t work and it certainly doesn’t earn you any favors with the media on the receiving end of the bombardment.
But say what you will about the love/hate relationship between public relations practitioners and members of the working media, there is a time and place where they work together harmoniously. It happens when PR professionals do their research, familiarize themselves with the publications or broadcast outlets they’re interested in approaching and position information that’s truly relevant to the journalist’s audience.
We proved this theory again recently working with B.A.S.S., the professional authority and advocacy group on bass fishing. Their publication, Bassmaster Magazine, released its first annual 100 best bass fishing lakes in the U.S.
Rather than just blasting the release out “over the wire” (do ‘wires’ even exist anymore?), we took a considerable amount of time to research the journalists covering stories near each of the 100 lake locations across the country. It was time consuming. It was laborious. But it was thorough.
We sent every email one by one (not as a mass email). And when we sent the list out to these journalists, we made sure to point out in the very first sentence the relevance the list had to them. We didn’t assume the media would take the time to see where their local lake placed on the list. We gave it to them right up front, along with a personalized note.
Since the list came out on April 29, we’ve seen more than 100 newspaper articles, television stories and blog posts from local media covering their lake being included in the list. From a media relations perspective, it was a slam dunk.
Often times with news releases, there’s a tendency to want to blast information out as quickly as possible without taking the time to customize the content for the journalist on the other end. But in doing so just perpetuates the “hate” portion of the love/hate relationship journalists have with us. The “love” comes in when journalists see you actually took the time to research their stories and target information to them they can actually use.