5 ways to make a reporter love you

Want a reporter on your side? Take his calls on Friday night, pitch someone other than your client, and get to know his personality.

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A few weeks ago, as I pulled into my driveway after a long week of work, I received a phone call from a reporter I work with wanting a quote for a story. I called and emailed clients for the next two hours trying to get a comment for him. I never did get one, but the reporter was grateful for the effort.

This story reminds me why some PR practitioners maintain good relationships with the media and others don’t. Here are some points for young PR executives to remember.

Go above and beyond the call of duty. If a reporter calls you at 5 p.m. on a Friday, don’t hang up or blow him off. Do all you can to help him finish his story and get sources. He will remember it in the future.

Don’t send crap. An old boss of mine said the reason why our agency landed successful story placements was that we distributed well-written press releases. We wrote the press releases like news stories so that reporters could copy and paste them into a paper. That isn’t exactly great journalism, but in these days of thinning newsrooms, reporters and editors love a press release that doesn’t need much work.

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