In this post I share the secret weapon for cementing your future relationship with a journalist who has covered you once.
You want to turn this one-off win into a relationship that can pay off for you and for the influencer time and again. To do that, you need to understand their needs better, and they need more proof of the value you can offer them.
After the coverage, you probably already write a “non-thank you note” – you express appreciation for the coverage without sounding like they did it for YOU. You compliment them on one of the values journalists prize, such as accuracy, depth, or quality.
Then follow these steps:
1. Ask for a phone chat. Yes, journalists these days abhor the phone because it can be a time vacuum. But the way you will stand out in the journalist’s mind is by making a PERSONAL impression of professionalism and savvy. Phone contact is much more personal than email. And they are most concerned about cold calls – a brief scheduled call is much different.
2. Promise brevity. Be specific and prove that you get how busy they are by promising a firm time limit. Five minutes is a good starting point; up to fifteen if they’ve been responsive while you worked on the previous story.
3. Specify what you want to know. Journalists won’t take time to answer, “What do you like to hear about?” We should learn that from watching what they write or air. A good line of questioning these days is “how the changing media environment is affecting you personally.”
4. Suggest a time slot. This creates a small sense of urgency and makes it more likely you’ll get the opportunity before their memory fades and they have totally moved on to other projects.
This won’t always yield a phone appointment, but often it does. You’ll be surprised what a deeper connection you’re able to make when you move your outreach from digital ephemera to a real human connection.