September 3, 2015

PR Secret: Keeping Long Distance Media Relationships

By: Jaclyn Acree

It’s no secret: I’m known in the office as the local public relations master, as I have worked with a lot of San Diego based clients and I really enjoy all of my professional relationships with the local media. Being in San Diego, it is easy to pop by their office or go to networking events and really take the time to get to know them.

I sat down the other day and realized that while I am still doing local campaigns (as well as national), they aren’t local to San Diego and happen to be in other cities—shout out to Tacoma and Portland Free to Breathe, SPECTRUM Miami, SPECTRUM Indian Wells and Artexpo New York. I know what you’re thinking: I may not be super familiar with the media in other areas of the country, so this must pose a challenge (or does it?).

We all know that relationships matter in PR, so how do we create a successful campaign where we don’t know the media? It’s simple actually!

It’s all about these four things:

  • Strategy: It’s everything! What are the goals? What is the messaging? What will the media want to know about? We plan it out before putting it into action.
  • Research: All PR campaigns are about the research, so it is no different based on the location. We always start out with researching all of the media outlets in the city and then delve deeper into researching the writers and editors to find the ones that would be interested in what we are pitching.
  • Transparency: The media in San Diego trusts us because we are very open and honest with them. We do the same thing in any city that’s new to us. We know it’s OK to tell them that we are new to pitching in the area, instead of trying to pretend we know their market (but make sure you still do your research and aren’t reaching out to the wrong people).
  • Make it personal: If we are ever visiting the city, we will make every effort to meet with the local media to not only tell them about our client, but also to find out what stories they are interested in and how we can support them. It’s all about hang time!

If you are not based in San Diego but looking for a kick a** PR agency, don’t be afraid to reach out to us. We are confident we will succeed anywhere in the world. Watch out, the Olives are going global!