One of the most important relationships a Lakeland public relations company should nurture is the one with journalists. PR companies need to be on good terms with the journalism industry because it will be using it extensively. In order to reach the target audience and in order for your message to come across as legitimate, you need the good reputation of journalists. You need them to write about your clients in a positive light.

But if you have somehow burned that bridge, you won’t be getting anywhere. It might seem a little unfair on your part to have to deal with journalists all the time and for the success of your strategies to depend on your good relations with them. But, these are the realities of working in the PR industry. There’s simply a lot of friendships to be built even with people you personally are not fond of.

While you could always argue to have a professional relationship with journalists (instead of having to befriend them), it will benefit you more if you could nurture a strong friendship with them. It’s harder for journalists to ignore your PR statements and your little “favors” here and there if you have developed a relationship with them from the start.

Journalists and PR people fall under the same category—they are not the most liked people, especially in the industry they are in, which is communication. People look at journalists and PR specialists as something sort of a vulture. They think these people prey on the weak, spread a wrong message, and propagate views that are self-serving only.

And while there are journalists who work this way, there are those who stay true to the true meaning of journalism—to find the truth and to communicate it to the stakeholders, to be the voice of the voiceless, and to work for the interest of the general public.

PR companies then must invest in this relationship. Sometimes, it’s as simple as having a regular lunch or catch-up dinner with the journalists that cover your beat. Sometimes, it’s as simple as inviting them over to your clients’ events, so they can see for themselves how your clients are faring. This will create a good impression and it will benefit you and the clients in the end.

You should personally introduce your clients to the journalists. It works better that way. Journalists want an easy access to their subjects and it would be nice if your clients know how to deal with reporters. You should always find a way to “train” your clients on how to speak, how to say no, and when to shut their mouths (remember that sometimes, it’s just better to decline to comment).