Four Ways Calling Reporters Can Help Land Media Coverage

When it comes to media relations, we’ve talked before about how important it is to target the right reporters and ensure the pitch is as compelling as possible. Sometimes, though, it takes even more than that to secure media coverage. 

Often, the “secret sauce” in the recipe for successful media outreach is having a telephone conversation with journalists you’re pitching. That can be easier said than done, though, due to the changing nature of the business. More and more reporters are working remotely, and media outlets increasingly choose to not publish editorial telephone numbers.

PR pros have to get inventive when searching for good contact information. The extra effort can really pay off when you get a reporter on the line. While email is typically the preferred form of initial communication, there’s still great value in actually speaking to journalists by phone.

Here’s how spoken conversations increase the likelihood of story placements:

1. Getting noticed 
A reporter might not receive or see an email until you call and point it out. Emails must make it past firewalls, spam filters and hundreds of other competing messages. Sometimes, they don’t even arrive due to technological glitches. And, email can be easily ignored or rejected. It’s harder, however, to dismiss a live human being on the other end of your phone.

2. Overcoming objections
If a reporter is on the fence about pursuing the story idea you proposed, it may be easier to decide against it if they don’t hear from you. It may just be that they need a little clarification but not enough time or inclination to seek it. By speaking directly to reporters, you can address their questions or concerns, provide additional information or context to support your pitch, and even offer different angles that may pique their interest.

3. Building relationships
When you talk with someone, you have the opportunity to establish rapport, trust and a more personal connection. You can also showcase your knowledge of the topics a journalist regularly covers and demonstrate your ability to provide valuable insights, illustrating the benefit of taking your calls.

4. Learning more
If you’re lucky, a reporter will share feedback that you can use to strengthen future pitches. And, even though you should keep the conversation short to be respectful of the time constraints every journalist faces, try to get a better sense of what they’re looking for in a story. Then use this information on the spot to customize your pitch to make it more appealing and relevant to the reporter, increasing the chances of it getting picked up.

The media relations experts at GYC Vegas, a PR agency specializing in marketing communications, prioritize telephone follow-up with journalists. We understand how effective voice conversations are at convincing reporters to do stories. Our personalized media strategies, which include multiple rounds of calls to try and reach reporters, help build brand awareness and set you apart from the competition. To learn how we go the extra mile to secure high-impact media coverage, contact us today for a free consultation. We believe in the power of PR, and that it is amplified by one-on-one conversations with carefully curated media contacts.

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