Feeding the wild media

Public relations can be a jungle. It’s true. Consider this analogy: A publicist trying to pitch stories ideas to the media is like a person trying to feed a wild animal.

Animals need to eat, but they don’t always trust people to feed them. The same can apply to the media. Reporters need stories, but they may not always trust a publicist to get them what they want.

How successful you are at “feeding” the media can really come down to whether or not you can build up that trust that may be initially missing in the relationship. You need to make it clear to your contact what you have to offer; don’t try to hide anything, and make sure you deliver on your promises. If a reporter feels like you pulled a fast one on them, then just like an animal, they’ll run away and not want to work with you again. Be careful, they may even bite back: making sure no one else in their newsroom works with you either.

But if you can build that trust and maintain a good relationship, your contact will keep coming back to you for more stories. I have a couple national radio show producers with whom I’ve been able to build solid relationships over the past couple months. They know that when I come to them with ideas, they are good quality and also that I will follow through on what I say I can give them. So they keep coming back to me for more and more “food”, a.k.a news stories.

So good luck, it can be a jungle out there!

Written by Krista Wignall

Krista is a former TV news producer, so she’s a natural at working with the media. She’s also creative and persistent. When she’s got a good story that needs to be told, she won’t give up until she’s made it happen.