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5 ways for PR Consultants to build a relationship with the media

by Kim Latham - 20 February 2019


1. Do your homework

Journalists up and down the country receive hundreds of ‘sales’ pitches each day and the fact is they are much more likely to listen to a public relations consultant that has spent time researching their work. If you end up pitching an insurance story to a sports journalist you’re off to a dodgy start and you might find the reporter won’t answer your calls ever again!

2. Build a real relationship

Journalists are busy people with stressful working lives. They are human, however, and researching their work history, inviting them out for lunch, and remembering a key date such as a birthday, can help build bridges.

3. Don’t call reporters on deadline day

You may want to create a timetable that illustrates the various deadlines for each publication you’re targeting. If a journalist calls you on deadline day that’s absolutely great news (provided you’ve got what they need) but if you call and interrupt them when they are on a deadline it’s possible you’re going to get shouted at and stuck off their list of PRs.

4. Face to face

Meeting reporters face-to-face (like in any other business) speaks volumes and will help the reporter understand what you do, what type of stories you can provide, when you are going to provide the information, and most importantly how you can be of help to the journalist. An initial face-to-face meeting is the beginning of your relationship with a publication so be on time, show the journalist you understand his/her publication and its audience, and deliver what you say you can.

5. Contact details

Before following up on a press release it’s vital you ask the journalist the best way to contact them. While mobile phone numbers are easy to obtain these days, most journalists don’t want you calling them while they’re sitting on a beach in Tenerife in what is their first holiday in two years. So while it may be tempting to send them a text message – call them on their desk number first to follow up!

What Is Professional Indemnity Insurance? (PI Insurance)

As a business professional or consultant, professional indemnity insurance is essential and could protect your business from legal disputes and claims of negligence made by any clients.

If a client or third party makes a claim against you or your business which proves the service you provided was inadequate and resulting in their financial loss, professional indemnity insurance protects your business by covering the legal costs, expenses, and compensation due to the claimant.

Professional indemnity insurance can also cover your business for intellectual property infringements, claims of dishonesty or defamation, and loss or inappropriate use of documents or data.

Without the correct insurance cover, you may not be able to afford the advice and legal defence you need to support you in the event of an allegation.

Unlike other forms of business insurance such as public liability and employers liability which are there to protect staff and members of the public, professional indemnity insurance is there to protect the consultant/business owner.