It Really Is All About Relationships
We spend quite a bit of time getting to know the reporters and editors that we work with. It makes what we do a whole lot easier when we have a relationship that goes beyond the occasional email pitch or follow-up phone call.
Over the past couple weeks, I relied on two of those relationships on behalf of the same client.
In both cases, these were reporters that I have worked with many times over the years. We have a mutual respect for each other and the roles we each play in getting out the news. My role is that of the gatekeeper to the information and their role as a journalist is to ensure that the stories are fair and balanced.
In one instance, it meant several back-and-forth conversations with the editor to rework part of a story that was misleading and incorrect. I wasn’t 100% onboard with it but did agree to how she reworked the story to maintain the integrity of the original piece and fix what was factually incorrect.
The other was a bit more complex, with the offer of exclusive access to the story provided she was the reporter assigned to the story. She had been promoted recently and wasn’t writing stories anymore, but because of our past working relationship and her professionalism I wanted her to do the story. She got the go-ahead and the resulting piece was better than I had expected.
Could either of these scenarios have happened without a strong working relationship? Sure. But I believe the results would have been very different.