From pitch to partnership: Building long-term value with strategic media relations

Media relations is one of the most important aspects of public relations, and when executed correctly, it can become an invaluable tool to help you take your business to the next level.

Now, you might be wondering about the main difference between public relations and media relations. Simply put, while the goal of PR is to manage the company’s overall image and reputation, media relations focuses on the company’s relationship with the media itself –  journalists, reporters, bloggers and podcast hosts, to name a few.

This might sound like an easy task, but in reality, forging great relationships with the media requires a lot of time, research and a well-thought-out strategy, and this whole process usually starts with sending out a pitch.

Let’s dive into how you can transform an initial pitch into a long-term partnership that, in turn, creates sustained value for your business, especially when it comes to media relations in Latin America.

How do media relations work nowadays?

Media relations in PR have always been about building mutually beneficial relationships with the media. Journalists get interesting stories, and companies get coverage, which can result in:

  • Increased brand visibility and recognition
  • Increased website traffic
  • Enhanced credibility and trust
  • Opportunities to shape public perception and narrative
  • New business opportunities

However, the landscape of media relations has evolved significantly in recent years, mostly due to the rise of digital and social media.

Nowadays, the media is saturated with content, journalists receive hundreds of emails a day and they have become more selective about the stories they cover. This means companies need to get more creative with their angles and find a way to make their pitch stand out.

The Initial Pitch

Emailing a pitch is usually how companies try to start a relationship with a media outlet. However, to get their attention, you not only need to have a story or angle that’s worth their while, but you also need to craft the pitch in a way that stands out from the rest.

Here are a few considerations to bear in mind if you want your pitch to have a shot at getting noticed by journalists:

Only approach them if it’s relevant to them

Sending out pitches in bulk without taking the time to understand a journalist’s beat and interests is one of the most common mistakes we see out there.

It may look like you are casting a wide net, but in reality, this tactic is ineffective and annoying to journalists. It also leaves a bad impression of your brand and jeopardizes your chances of ever building a relationship with them in the future.

Instead, take your time to research and identify journalists who cover your industry or niche. Look at their recent work to understand the types of stories they typically cover. This will help you tailor your pitch to their specific interests and explain how your story is a good fit for their audience.

Use a strong subject line

You may have a great pitch and your story might be the perfect fit for a journalist, but none of this matters if your email never gets opened. This is why subject lines are so important.

The subject line is the first thing a journalist sees, and it can determine whether your email gets opened or not. Our advice? Make it interesting and intriguing, but keep it short, concise and only include the most relevant info.

Here’s an example of a good subject line: “[Study] Meditating twice a day can increase your lifespan by 10 years.”

Be clear and Concise

Journalists receive hundreds of emails each week, but they can only read so many. This is why, in addition to a catchy subject line, your pitch should go straight to the point. However, this must be done politely and without leaving out the essential aspects that make your story newsworthy.

Avoid long introductions or unnecessary information. Instead, start by addressing the journalist by name and highlighting what makes your story relevant to them. Use bullet points to emphasize the most important details and keep paragraphs short for readability. The idea is that the journalist can understand your pitch with just one quick glance.

Finally, don’t forget to include relevant data like quotes, metrics, or references to support your story. This can add credibility and journalists really appreciate it.

Media Relations in LATAM

A common mistake companies make when starting to build media relations in Latin America is treating the entire region as a single market.

As it turns out, in LATAM, each country is unique and has its own media landscape, cultural nuances and preferred communication styles. This means you need to tailor your approach to each market individually.

But one thing that all Latin American countries have in common is that relationships, human contact and developing a real connection matter a lot to them. Maybe even more than in countries like the US, where it is more common to contact a complete stranger via email and be able to start a professional dialogue right there.

In LATAM, journalists often prefer face-to-face meetings, phone calls, or even WhatsApp messages with a personalized approach that demonstrates genuine interest over formal emails. Cold emailing or impersonal communication is often less effective compared to engaging in real conversations and establishing rapport.

The value of long-term media partnerships

Building and maintaining media relations can be hard, especially when you’re just starting out with your business or have little experience in PR. However, it’s important to do it right from the beginning so that you have a chance to build strong, long-term relationships.

Long-term relationships hold immense value, but they also require more time and effort. Unlike short-term publicity, long-term media partnerships have the power to open doors to exclusive opportunities and enable consistent, in-depth coverage, which helps build brand reputation and credibility.

Additionally, since you work with the same journalists or media over time, a familiarity develops. This translates into smoother communication and a deeper understanding of your brand’s story, which results in more thoughtful and impactful stories that resonate better with your target audience. It’s almost like they become an extension of your PR team.

Achieving Lasting Value

To sum up, building long-term media relations is an ongoing process that requires patience, dedication, creativity, as well as a personalized approach, especially in regions like Latin America.

But if you take the time to understand the media landscape and cultural nuances of your target audience before approaching the media, and tailor your pitch to resonate with their interests, you’ll not only have a better chance of getting coverage but also of building genuine, long-lasting relationships that drive your business forward.

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