The importance of relationships between b2b tech and channel journalists with PRs
In Facebook terms, the relationship between journalists and publication relation professionals (PRs) can be described as “it’s complicated.’
Relationships are hugely valuable but can at times be fractious – there’s a lot of room for miscommunication, tears and recrimination. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Christine Horton, a channel journalist and content creator specialist at TechComms shares a couple of observations from a journalist perspective that could encourage journalists and b2b tech PRs to work together to get the results they both want.
It’s not like ‘the old days’
Everyone will have heard stories – or lived to tell the tale if they’re old enough – of boozy PR lunches or extravagant press trips. Brilliant for bonding between journalists and PRs, but not as much of an option today. Both PR and journalism have moved on in many ways, and the old school way of building relationships simply doesn’t appeal to many younger professionals.
This situation has of course been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those breakfasts, coffees, lunches, drinks – all those critical moments where we’ve had the opportunity to get to know each other in an informal environment – were suddenly off the table.
So, as we embrace a new kind of normal, it’s a good time to speak with journalists and find out if they would like to meet for a coffee or a drink to chat about what they might need from you. Some will take you up on your offer, some won’t. But the better you know them, the more likely they are to call on you for help or respond to your email.
Know your audience
Before pitching to a journalist, do your research. It sounds obvious, right? Well, my background is in the IT channel and you’d be shocked at how many junior PRs – as it is those poor souls that have been tasked with calling journalists – don’t even know what the channel is.
Similarly, I still get PRs pitching to me for a publication that went out of business in 2017. So don’t rely on an outdated spreadsheet somewhere, take a quick look at the publication before drafting an email!
Ultimately, understanding what journalists write about and who their audience is will go a long way to securing a worthwhile relationship on both sides.
If you would like to discuss the importance of relationships between journalists and PRs in more detail, please contact TechComms, a b2b tech marketing and communications agency on + 44 (0) 203 322 8928.