Maintaining Media Contacts
Media relations is about building and maintaining awareness about your business or organization through continuing communications. Initially, you'll build your media list by consulting current directories and, perhaps, polling those within your organization for suggestions as to their preferred vehicle for distributing your communications. Once you've established initial contact, it is in the best interest of your business or organization to maintain your relationships with the news media by doing such things as:
Keeping them abreast of developments by ensuring they have a current list of section officers and issue experts, or at least a year-in-review report.
If appropriate, hosting an annual informal media luncheon, or inviting individual media contacts to lunch.
Sending interim media updates by e-mail.
Sending a thank-you note to a reporter after you receive good coverage.
Familiarizing yourself with the other work done by your media contacts, mentioning and complimenting them for recent stories if you have the occasion to speak with them, or sending an appropriate congratulatory note.
Maintaining a clip, transcript, video, and audiotape file to help you establish a record of your media efforts. (Don't rely on your memory.)
It's bound to happen someday: Somebody from the media makes a mistake when presenting the information you submitted. Don't be afraid to point out erroneous coverage; just be sure you restrict your polite “suggestions” to draw attention only to instances of significant error, which is especially important if you need the media to issue some sort of correction (such as correcting a print error of your phone number or Web site URL).