How to show a reporter that you are a reliable source

The relationship between a PR professional and a journalist doesn’t have to be contentious. Here’s some advice to help it flourish.

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There have been a number of articles lately about the horrible relationships between PR pros and reporters. This is, of course, based on the countless bad PR professionals out there who are making it hard for the rest of us, including the reporter who has to deal with them.

However, when we are not hating each other, sometimes friendships are formed. Not all reporters and PR pros are at odds; some work well together. Let’s face it—we work together daily and sometimes talk more frequently than you do with the co-worker in the next cubicle. Forming relationships is almost inevitable if you are a competent PR pro.

“I understand that reporters get abused a lot,” says Maria Cucciniello, founder of The Hip Event. “It can’t always be about what the PR person needs or wants for our clients. Just as with any professional relationship, it needs to be mutually beneficial for both parties.”

It takes time and effort to show reporters that you are working with them to share information that can help them professionally. Do your job well, and you may find that the water-cooler conversation spills into a phone conversation with an editor. Or a comment about the weather gets dropped in a reply from a reporter. You can break down barriers by being a reliable resource who is easily accessible, knowledgeable, and human.

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