Managing Media Contacts: How Getting Organized Is The First Step To Better Relationships

    Provided by Prezly

    Working in public relations can seem like chaos from the outside looking in. Those who are successful in PR know that there is a method to the madness. They thrive where others panic. They can navigate a crisis or tackle a hard question. It gives them a sense of purpose, and power...and they love it.

    But there is one place where chaos is not welcome or productive: your media lists.

    Media lists are dynamic. They change because people change. For this reason it is essential that you keep your lists clean, detailed and up to date. There are a lot of benefits to keeping things organized, and in a single place where your lists can be easily accessible.

    How getting organized improves your relationships:

    1. You maintain reliable information. Getting rid of duplicate information, keeping on top of email address and phone number changes, and even the interests of your contacts is very important to juggling many contacts. With organized media lists, you’ll have the peace of mind and confidence that the contact information is correct.
    2. You’ll avoid damaging mistakes. Your team will work from one source of truth for your contact information, so you’ll avoid doing things like double-pitching, missing follow ups, and other relationship endangering faux pas.
    3. You get your time back. How much time per day do you spend looking for information? A study by McKinsey revealed that it could be up to 20% of your time.  This time is wasted and it kills your productivity. Newfound time will result in being able to try new things, pitch smarter, and create richer content. You’ll also be able to react quickly to situations or opportunities you would have otherwise missed.
    4. You will get a better understanding of your contacts. Giving your contacts an organized place to live lets you add information about relationship interactions, details and more. Like Bill Clinton did to rise to political success, you should keep good records of more than just demographic information. Your stakeholders and media contacts are people with a lot of history, interests, and background, so use that to your advantage.
    5. You’ll get really good at creating targeted pitches. Personalization, relevancy, and a genuine want to develop a relationship with someone will get you far. And with all that time you saved, you can create better content, more targeted pitches, and see engagement rates rise. In fact, it has been shown to improve click rates by up to 50%.
    6. You’ll be known for being “one of the good guys”. This level of understanding you will foster, and the time you will spend taking care of relationships instead of fumbling through them, will gain you recognition as being a good source for material.  Your message will go farther and you’ll build a network.

    Where you manage media lists matter

    All these benefits don’t mean anything if you can’t keep things organized in the first place. Keeping contact information in spreadsheets really limits your productivity power. Spreadsheets are static, hard to update, difficult to share across an organization, and require a lot of manual work. When you start to build your media lists and add more team members as collaborators, things will get sloppy.

    If you’re serious about maintaining good records and building relationships with contacts, consider using a digital tool meant to keep up with your media relations. A CRM, or contact relationship management tool, is a key piece of technology to any organization working with people. It’s like a networking hive mind that stores all the information about your contacts and your interactions with them.

    It can help you get organized, and also do things like automatically logging those interactions so you never miss a beat. The automation a CRM provides is the real power. The most important part about getting a tool that works for you, instead of the other way around is that it frees up your time to work on more important things.

    Prezly is a 2019 Benefactor Sponsor of PRSA Colorado.

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