Had a call with Alpha Innovations today. Part of the agenda was providing an update on any coverage resulting from the conversation CEO Larry Newhook had with Wall Street Journal hedge fund reporter Rachael Levy last week re: D.E. Shaw.
I let them know nothing had been posted as yet, but we'd keep a close eye out. I could tell the Alpha folks were a little disappointed because the conversation had gone so well and expectations were high. I did my best to assure them it was a worthwhile time investment and even if nothing panned out from this opportunity right away, there was a great chance there would be more in the future.
To back track a bit, I blogged about setting up a coffee discussion with Larry and Rachael a few weeks ago. I touched base with Rachael again the first Monday after to see if she was working on anything that was a good fit with Larry's expertise. Sure enough, she was and we set up a call for them to chat.
I'm convinced it was that follow-up that made today's coverage happen. You can't just sit back and think, "well, I got them a briefing with the WSJ - it's on the reporter now if anything comes from it." No, it's on YOU the PR professional to build and cultivate a relationship with the reporter, and establish yourself as a resource. And you don't do so by hounding them or calling them every day. I call it "persistent without being annoying." PR people have to constantly remind ourselves that our media contacts get dozens if not hundreds of pitches per day. They can't use all of them, and they certainly can't respond to all of them. Use your best judgment. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you want someone calling or harassing you over email every day? Nope - you'd ignore their calls and wouldn't be able to hit delete fast enough. Don't be that PR person.
Be a resource - and even better, a trusted resource who reads a reporter's work and knows the right people to connect them with for stories. That's how it works. See above.
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