With a constantly shifting news industry, building and maintaining good relationships with media should remain a top priority. We'll explore best tactics Dec. 9 during "Building Better Journalist Relationships," a panel discussion at the PRNEWS Media Relations Next Practices Virtual Event.
We asked one of the speakers scheduled for that session, Lauren Young, editor, digital special projects at Reuters, to give us her perspective on pitching.
PRNEWS: Lauren, tell our readers about your background, and how you ended up at Reuters?
Lauren Young: I’ve been covering all aspects of personal finance for more than two decades—first at Dow Jones newswires, then SmartMoney magazine, and after that at BusinessWeek. My friend, Jennifer Ablan, recruited me to Reuters more than a decade ago. I was sitting with her at a Newswomen’s Club Awards, and she told me about a new position focusing on wealth management. I had just been laid off from BusinessWeek, after it was acquired by Bloomberg, so the timing was ideal. It took a few months to get hired, but here I am years later…
PRN: What is one thing you wish every PR person would do who reaches out to you?
Young: READ WHAT I EDIT. And know that I very rarely write anything!
PRN: So, what is the best way for PR people to follow an editor's content if she is, like you, someone whose byline appears infrequently?
Young: Twitter! LinkedIn. See what they are sharing on social networks.
PRN: What is the best way a new contact can approach you? Social? Phone?
Young: Email is fine. That said, I get inundated by emails, so the phone is the sneaky backdoor way to reach me. Forget social. I just can’t track all of the different modes of communication.
PRN: How can a newer contact approach you to develop a relationship? I know you mentioned phone, but it is best for them to cold call you?
Young: They can try, but in COVID times, it’s weird not to meet eventually. That’s honestly the best way for me to connect with a person. Still can’t do it virtually. It doesn’t work.
PRN: What is one mistake you see PR pros making repeatedly in developing relationships?
Young: Only reaching out with a pitch. That’s not a way to develop a long-term relationship. I’ve met so many PR people over the years, but I can honestly name less than 20 who have been constants throughout my career.
PRN: And what is the best way to develop that long-term relationship with an editor/reporter?
Young: Send chocolate.
PRN: It's definitely hard to pass up a tactile approach. Unfortunately, the media industry is frequently in flux. What's the best way for PR people to keep up with job changes for journalists?
Young: I’m one of those people who rarely changes jobs, but the combo of Twitter profiles and LinkedIn seems to work well for me, in terms of figuring out where people are now.
To hear more from Lauren, as well as other PR and media professionals on media relations best practices, register for the PRNEWS Media Relations Next Practices Virtual Event (Dec. 8-9) here.