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Building Good Media Relationships: 7 Golden Rules

Public Relations

As a leading public relations agency in Indonesia, we work directly with our clients to help them forge strong relationships with media partners to not only gain coverage but to create a long-lasting relationships. A good relationship with the press can be a make or break for getting media coverage for your business. Which begs the question, how do you build a great relationship with the media?

We’ve compiled a list of 7 Golden Rules to help you do just that.


1.     Know who you’re targeting

Firstly, identify what audiences you are trying to reach. Are you trying to target large groups of consumers or something more niche like remote workers? On the back of this you can identify relevant influences and applicable media.

It’s important to prioritise the list according to who’s the most important so you can reach your target audiences more effectively. Remember, quality over quantity – it’s better to have a short list that you can interact with more personally over a longer list that you can’t nurture as thoroughly. Indonesia has a diverse media landscape and it is critical that your agency partner is guiding you towards the ideal outlet for your message and audience.

2.     Identify what the publication is interested in

Some publications have very specific target audiences and others talk to the public in general, a good public relations agency can help you identify which are the best fit for your business. It’s important to find out who and what they are predominantly talking to and tailoring your approach accordingly.

3.     Keep lead times front of mind

Difference publications have different lead times, some have three months and other a month or less. In most cases magazines will plan two or three issues ahead.  

If you’re able to provide leads or embargoed story tips ahead of time that’s a big plus. If you are unsure about the parameters of confidentiality you can use a lawyer to create an embargo agreement which the editor should sign before you disclose information to them.

With this in mind, few things are off the record so if there is something you really don’t want leaked, don’t share it.


4.     Be prepared to pivot based on what stories they are currently working on

When talking to an editor or writer, they may be testing how your story will work with the other articles they are currently working on so be ready to use your imagination.

Most editors are likely to keep future content plans close to their chest so be prepared to think on your feet and offer different angels depending on what stories they are currently working on.

5.     Respect the Journalist

In most cases the journalist is doing you a favour, or at least so they like to think. If you are hard to deal with or not giving them the information needed they will simply find another source for the story.

Time is money so keep all communication concise and relevant.

6.     Deadlines are key

More often than not deadlines are a matter of days and not months or even weeks. Because of this, you should treat any contact from the press as urgent.An interview after a deadline has passed is useless so be sure to respond in a timely manner.


7.     Be persistent

Be persistent but not annoying – we recommend staying in touch mostly by email and sometimes over the phone but don’t stop sending ideas.


Earned media is a lot like fishing, you don’t know when they’ll start to bite. Most editors get dozens if not hundreds of press releases a day so don’t be discouraged if no one gets back to you.


When communicating be clear and concise and use email subject lines to get straight to the point. Editors can be a good point of contact but if you can develop a good relationship with some writers this will usually be more effective.


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