Effective Media Outreach Requires That Personal Touch

Building relationships with media members isn’t an impersonal mission. You’ve got to get to know your target media reporters and editors. Get their attention. Then, keep that attention with a bit of personality.

I remember one instance when I first started in the business. I was making phone calls to local Georgia media to encourage them to attend our client’s ribbon-cutting event. I had my call script prepared so that I wouldn’t forget the crucial details. Who was hosting the event; where was it being held; why should they attend; etc. You know, the five W’s.

Talking to reporters on the phone was easy. I would loosen up and have a nice conversation about the event while referencing my five W’s. But, when it came to leaving voicemail messages, I’d choke up. I would read directly from the script and not be myself. I was trying to pack in too much, and I was losing the personal touch.

After I received feedback from one of the journalists (who thought the original message was a recording!), I regrouped and set out to make sure that I came across as authentic. My scripts are now bullet points and not full sentences to encourage me to be speak as if I were speaking to a real person — not just a robo-call.

So, never be afraid to be yourself when reaching out to the media, even if you’re leaving a voicemail. It’s refreshing for media members to hear a genuine voice on the other side of the phone.

Contact TSN Communications to learn more about how we can bring personality to your organization’s media outreach. Feel free to contact me at tracy@tsncommunications.com to learn more.