You guys used to be such great friends. Once a month or so the reporter from the City Times would call you up, asking for any juicy news or leads. In return for your help, they would listen to your pitches and give you some nice shout-outs and quotes in various papers. It was a beautiful friendship you hoped would last forever.
Except one day that all changed – you suddenly realize you haven’t heard from your friend in over two months. Then it’s three months. You give them a ring but are greeted by their voicemail. If you do get them on the horn it’s usually a terse “just too busy.” What in the world happened?
You Forgot the Relationship
Relationships take a lot of work, especially mutually beneficial business ones. And let’s be honest, that’s what a reporter/business person relationship is, even if you are actually friends on the side. If you’re scratching each other’s backs, well, once one person stops scratching the other is going to stop, too.
So something went wrong with the back scratching at some point. Otherwise, you probably would stop be hearing from the reporter. Look back and try to figure out what went happened.
It may not be anything malicious, either. Maybe it was just a series of bad leads that made the reporter feel like you weren’t taking his end seriously. Or the press release you sent in to be printed was poorly written and got him in trouble or added to his workload. Or it could have absolutely nothing to do with you at all. The media is in trouble and more and more reporters are being offered buyouts while their colleagues who are left shoulder the burden of reporting all the news that’s fit to print.
In the end, a reporter has to go with what’s beneficial to the paper and to him or her getting home on time. Once that stops and you start actually adding to their daily tasks, they’ll stop talking to you.
What To Do
Getting back in the graces of your favorite reporter is usually pretty easy to do. Once you’ve figured out exactly what happened, it’s a simple thing to fix it and promise never to do it ever again. Remember the idea is you want the relationship to be mutually beneficial – and so do they! So take steps to amend the bridge that was burned and you should be good.
Also, try not to assume what happened between the two of you was the result of something malicious or even done on purpose. After all, the newspaper or TV news business is a hectic one. Occasionally it’s just going to happen that your friend will just be too busy to call you! Sure, you’d like a heads up, but even that might not be possible.
So don’t automatically accuse your favorite reporter of intentionally dodging you. Try to assume something’s come up and they just don’t have time or it slipped their mind. If there has been a rift, though, do what you can to fix it for the future.
Do you have an established relationship with a reporter? How do you nurture it?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/bigbook.html