The importance of building good relationships with the Media

By John Masterson.

A contact is just that. A contact. It is someone you know personally or professionally.

In these e mail days it may even be someone you have never met but with whom you have built up a mutually beneficial relationship because you both understand each others business needs.

Sometimes clients think that because you have good contacts you will have no difficulty getting them the publicity they want. It doesn’t work like that. If you have good contacts it is because you have taken the time to understand their needs for their audience and you don’t waste their time pitching them stories that would not work. When I was a TV producer in RTE one of the irritants was pitches from PR people who did not know the first thing about the programme. They were wasting my time and their clients money.

A good contact that you meet for coffee or lunch now and again can be invaluable. Knowing the advance plans of a publication or radio series puts you in a position to maximise the opportunities for clients.

Then there is the Golden rule for contacts. Never promise what you cannot deliver. And never sell them a pup. You can only do it once. And you will regret it for a long time.