Building Profound Relationships with Writers: The Unwritten Rules of PR

May 23, 2023

The Secret Sauce of Successful PR

The art of public relations is a dance between visibility and credibility, and the best dance partner is often a writer or journalist. This intriguing truth, shared by PR strategist Josh Steimle, is a game-changer in the world of PR, placing relationship building with writers at the heart of a successful strategy.

Why Relationships with Writers Matter

Why invest time in building relationships with writers? The answer lies in the nature of modern journalism. Many journalists and contributors, especially in top-tier publications like Forbes, have significant freedom to choose their stories. A solid relationship with a writer can position you or your client as a potential story, leading to those sought-after features.

The Approach: Offering Before Asking

The cornerstone of this relationship-building process is an approach that offers assistance before seeking help. When introducing yourself to a writer, shift the conversation from a direct pitch about your company to an offer of help. What articles are they working on? Is there any way you can assist them? This approach demonstrates genuine interest in their work, positioning you as a supportive resource rather than a self-serving contact.

Practical Takeaways:

  1. Research the writer: Understand their beat and recent articles to demonstrate genuine interest in their work.
  2. Offer assistance: Proactively ask about their current projects and how you could be of help.

From Relationship Building to Article Pitching

Once a relationship has been established, opportunities to pitch articles about your client or your company will naturally arise. Propose topics that align with the writer’s interests, and better yet, come prepared with a well-crafted article. If they like it, they may tweak it slightly and publish it, leading to the exposure you desire.

Practical Takeaways:

  1. Propose relevant topics: Keep your pitches in line with the writer’s beat and interests.
  2. Offer ready-to-publish articles: Present well-researched and well-written articles to make the writer’s job easier.

The Long Game: Sustaining Relationships

Building relationships with writers isn’t a one-time effort but a continuous process. There are numerous ways to maintain these relationships, such as introducing them to industry contacts or offering advice related to their work. A sustained effort to help them, even when you need nothing in return, will keep you at the forefront of their minds when they’re sourcing their next story.

Practical Takeaways:

  1. Share your network: Introduce writers to relevant contacts in your industry who could be valuable sources for them.
  2. Offer ongoing support: Continue to offer help, advice, or resources even when you’re not actively seeking a feature.

The Humble Ask: When You Need Their Help

Humility is vital when the time comes for you to seek help. Recognize their busy schedules and ask for assistance respectfully. Remember, a humble ask is more likely to receive a positive response.

Practical Takeaways:

  1. Respect their time: Keep your pitches concise and respect their busy schedules.
  2. Show humility: Express your request as a humble ask, acknowledging their expertise and the value of their time.

In the world of PR, building relationships with writers offers a pathway to visibility and credibility. By offering value, demonstrating genuine interest, and fostering sustained relationships, you position yourself not just as another PR contact, but as a valuable resource and ally in their journalistic journey. This approach, while requiring time and effort, can yield impressive results, opening doors to high-impact exposure for you or your clients.

You May Also Like…


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: