As the popular sports saying goes, there is “no ‘I’ in team.” The same rings true when it comes to the world of public relations--we can’t succeed without the media, and they can’t succeed without us.
Getting ideas and content to the media has undergone an evolution in the last few years. Editors are receiving more pitches than they ever have, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to go through them all and respond to everyone.
With that in mind, having strong relationships with editors has become one of the biggest and most important ways to get noticed and receive more opportunities.
The question now is how do you create those relationships in order to catch an editor’s eye? Let’s take a look below at some of my best tips and tricks:
Make Yourself an Asset
Remember that editors are receiving an endless number of pitches every day from people who want to get their businesses more exposure and credibility. However, if you really want to stand out, you have to stop thinking, “How can they help me?” and instead think, “How can I help them?”
Get yourself into research mode and start looking at what types of articles the editor is writing, what topics they are covering, and pitch them relevant ideas that they’re going to want to use. If you find you’re not quite the right fit for an article, put that editor in touch with your vendor friends who are--they’ll remember your thoughtful gesture. Yes, you will likely get some “no’s” along the way, but don’t be discouraged and just keep trying.
Eventually you are going to get used to pitching editors and may find yourself on friendly terms with many of them. That can be a great advantage for you, however it can also quickly become a problem if you aren’t careful.
Jokes and some informality in your messages is a good thing, but you don’t want to find yourself taking advantage of the relationship by asking for things such as extensions or special favors. Editors have strict deadlines they musts meet regardless of who their friends are, and you might find that they start sending those opportunities elsewhere.
So many of the emails editors receive sound like they came out of a robot, so make sure you sound like you in your pitches.
For me, I often try and find something outside of work that we can bond on--whether it’s a mutual love for pancakes or a dislike of all things burlap, it’s always nice to share a laugh.
Yes, professionalism is very important, but so is getting to know the people you’ll be working with.
Your editorial relationships will quickly become an integral part of your public relations plan, so be sure you are taking the time and making the effort to cultivate them- you won’t be sorry!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting based in Richmond, Va. She is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.