If you want to get better press for your sport then building a relationship with journalists is a great place to start. In which case you need to look at them as a target market, and provide them with something of value so that they see you as a valuable resource. This is completely different from just bombarding them with press releases – it’s more work, but it does work.
Is there anything you know about which they’d find useful, even if it doesn’t help you right now? Any local resources, contacts, information on stories they’ve already written? You can’t do this for everyone, but it is possible to do it for a select group of local journalists.
Then, when they need a quote for a story about sport they’re going to come to you. They’re going to do this because they see you as a valuable resource.
Here’s how to make the job of journalist relationship building easier:
Use Google Alerts and Google Reader
to track every story, blog post and mention your target list of
journalists create and scan them in five minutes from one location (or,
even have them sent to your email inbox as they happen in real time.)
Then you can visit your Reader page, see if anything from one of
your journalists pops up and go make a relevant comment on their blog,
drop an industry study in mail or suggest a follow-up angle to their
story through a hand-written note. This entire process should take just
minutes a day and can even be delegated once it’s up and running.
Some tech notes:
- Google Alerts
- Use quotes around full names to get best results – “bill smith”
- Check the RSS version to have it sent to Google Reader
- Google Reader
- Create a folder in Google Reader just for your PR efforts so that
you can store the results of your RSS alerts in one handy place
- Get in the habit of checking and responding at least several times a week.