Practical Pointers Blog
November 17, 2022
For this month’s Impact Insights, we chatted with Vice President Kristin Delia on the do’s and don’ts of establishing and fostering relationships with members of the media and her best advice for someone new to the public relations field. With nearly nine years of PR, and specifically, media relations experience, Kristin has successfully garnered media attention for well-known brands such as Angry Orchard, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Coney Island Brewing Company, Mexico Grand Hotels, PDQ and Opal Apples and in publications such as Departures, Food & Wine, Time Out New York, The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Town & Country, among others.
What are your best tips for someone new to PR who wants to develop relationships with the media?
My best advice for someone new to PR who wants to develop relationships with media is establish and nurture the relationship well before pitching stories. Get to know their interests, their beat, which is the subject matter they cover, and what type of stories excite them (a great way to find out this information is through social media). Take time to read stories they have written and, when possible, set up a time to talk with them, or invite them for coffee or lunch (even if it’s virtual!) to introduce yourself and chat about what kind of projects they might be working on. One way to build rapport and credibility as a publicist is to anticipate the needs of a journalist and deliver crucial pieces of a story — whether that be hi-res images, factual information or a quote from a spokesperson — in a timely manner. If you’re unable to deliver something, be honest and transparent. It goes a long way!
How has working with the media changed over the past few years?
PR as a whole has changed significantly since I started my career in the industry almost nine years ago. At that point in time, the media landscape was already evolving and now, I believe it has shifted even more remarkably following the pandemic. Over the past decade, many publications have folded, or on-staff reporters have decreased, but simultaneously there has been a rise in digital publishing with the creation of online news outlets and social media platforms. In some cases, working with content creators and social media influencers has become a crucial, and sometimes an equally important component to a PR strategy, for the clients I work with. Because of this evolution, it’s more important than ever to have your finger on the pulse and build strong relationships with media, content creators and influencers. Journalists rely on publicists to be a resource or the connecting agent to a resource, so we want to be top of mind for journalists while they are crafting stories.
In my own experience, I’ve realized publications that have experienced a decrease in reporting staff are much more open to contributed articles and op-eds. While I believe thought leadership is almost always an effective tool for organizations and brands, now is a really great time for industry leaders to share their knowledge by way of contributed articles and position themselves as experts in the field.
What are your top dos and don’ts for pitching the media?