How to Work (with) the Media

I often talk about the value of getting “free” publicity to promote yourself, your business, or your cause, but free doesn’t mean effortless. You need to do your homework and reach out to the media with an irresistible story pitch. Today I have a guest article to help you do it right from PR expert Drew Gerber, CEO of  Thanks, Drew!

Connecting with the Media for PR Success

By L. Drew Gerber

PR success can only come from creating and cultivating
healthy relationships with the media. From the very beginning you’ll need to
connect with the media in such a way that proves to them you’re a unique expert
who can provide their audience with a fresh perspective. When it comes to
connecting with the media you need to make it clear you can offer the media
something that no one else can.

Here’s a few ways to connect with the media to guarantee PR

Brand Your Messages

When you connect with the media you’ll need to speak about
your brand succinctly. It’s imperative to talk about who you are and what you
do in no more than three sentences, making sure those short sentences sum up
your brand powerfully. Double-check what you say so you distinguish yourself powerfully
from your competition. In your pitch start with an introduction on who you are
as an expert and then follow-up with more news and story angles created
specifically for their beat.

Use Online Press Kits

When you connect with the media over the phone, they will
say one of two things: 1) “I pass”, or 2) “Send me more.” Just because they say
“I pass” now, doesn’t mean they will pass on you forever. They’re simply saying
they aren’t interested in the news hook you’re giving them today. You’ll rarely
hear, “Quit contacting me.” Either way, don’t take it personally. But when the
media says “Send me more,” send them your online press kit link (never send attachments
unless you clear that with them first) and a personalized email, just for them.

Use Breaking and
Seasonal News

When you’re researching new media connections take note of breaking
and seasonal news most relevant to them and the media outlet. It’s the best way
to introduce yourself. Say something like, “Celeb X is back in jail and I
noticed you were covering it. I have something to say about it as I’m an expert
in X. Have a second?” or “It’s July and I bet you’re already working on your
December magazine. The advertising section of your website says you work six
months in advance. Might you use information about X product? It would be perfect
for your readers in December.” If you can provide a fresh take on a news story
they’re working on, it will definitely increase your chances to build a quality
relationship with the media.

Connecting with the media can be a frustrating endeavor so
it’s important to never take rejection personally. Just keep doing what you’re
doing, making tweaks along the way. Remember, if you’re always striving to make
the media’s job easier, you’ll be sure to see results.

L. Drew Gerber is CEO of
and creator of, a free
media tool that connects journalists and the highest rated experts. Gerber’s
business practices and staffing innovations have been revered by PR Week, Good
Morning America and the Christian Science Monitor. His companies handle international
PR campaigns and his staff develops online press kits for authors, speakers and
companies with Online PressKit 24/7, a technology he developed ( Contact L. Drew
Gerber at:
or call him at 828-749-3548.

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Janet Vasil

On-Camera, Speaker & Media Coach/Trainer at Vasil Media Group | Your Media Moment & Beyond
Virtual Communication Specialist Janet Vasil is a former award-winning, EMMY®-nominated TV Journalist who teaches business professionals to communicate with impact on-camera, in media interviews, and as public speakers. Contact at

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