How to Become a Relied Upon Source for Journalists

The first to break all major news in the NFL and NBA, ESPN insiders Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski have risen to the top of their fields because they have reliable sources who provide them with information that no one else can provide. 

It’s no different in the legal industry. When a reporter is covering a story, they’ll need to determine the experts from various law firms who can assist them with the details. The goal for any lawyer should be to become that expert who is called on time and time again. Of course, researching media outlets, selecting the right story and delivering a pitch to a reporter is an effective way to garner earned media for your firm and potentially even earn a linkback, but it’s staying available and becoming a go-to for journalists that takes your media relations efforts to the next level. Here are some tips on how to become a source for journalists. 

Use Social Media

Once you get past the dog photos, memes and political opinions, social media can be a valuable tool for establishing yourself as an expert for reporters to contact. Journalists use social media to pursue story ideas and sources for their stories. According to a study from Muck Rack, 85 percent of journalists consider Twitter to be the most valuable social network, while another 22 percent even go to Twitter first for their news. 

That’s not to say that all of your social media efforts should be focused on just that one platform. Facebook was the most valuable social network for 35 percent of journalists and 23 percent selected LinkedIn. Regardless of which networks you ultimately select, it’s the information you share that will determine whether or not a journalist would consider you an expert. Be active and engage in any ongoing conversations. Put yourself out there with answers to the questions that those in your industry are asking and a reporter will have no choice but to reach out. 

Produce Relevant Content

The only way to become a source for journalists and reap the benefits of earned media is to prove your status as a thought leader with information that will be useful in their reporting efforts, and the best way to prove that is through creating and sharing your own relevant content. Before a member of the media even thinks about reaching out for your insight, they’ll do their own research to verify that you know what you’re talking about. Give them no choice but to contact you by standing out from the crowd with a steady dose of content that educates without asking anything in return. 

From a well-published blog and social media channels to live video and podcasts, there’s no shortage of opportunities to share valuable information. That content can then be shared on social media to expand your reach even further. By staying consistent with your content marketing efforts, you’ll reinforce your status as a thought leader and improve your reputation with both journalists and members of your target audience. 

Be Honest

Nothing will damage a relationship with the media like dishonesty. With the rise of fake news in recent years, journalists must be vigilant to ensure the information they are sharing is accurate. Before you share anything with a reporter, be sure you know what you’re talking about and provide evidence to support any claims you make. Even unintentionally misleading a journalist can permanently end any future opportunities and damage your reputation in the eyes of others in and around your industry. 

This also applies to keeping your word with members of the media. Never make promises that you can’t keep. Reporters are often working under the pressure of tight deadlines. There may come a time when a journalist contacts you requesting information or an interview without much notice. Of course, your first instinct is to accept immediately without even thinking about it. Before you decide, make sure that you have the bandwidth to meet their demands within the timeframe. If you don’t, tell the journalist immediately and reiterate that they’re welcome to reach out in the future. Your reputation won’t take a hit from being busy, and being honest with the reporter about it will go a long way toward ensuring that they contact you again next time. 

Stay Patient

It takes time to develop a relationship and become a source for journalists, but don’t get discouraged. There are always ways to build your reputation and trust with members of the media. Follow them on social media, share their content and provide your own insight about they’re content. Journalists want engagement on their content just as much as your law firm does, and by providing valuable information without being asked for it or asking for anything in return, you’ll be improving your reputation in the eyes of that journalist and your own followers. Once you’ve helped a reporter and made their job easier, you’ll become a go-to source for future stories and further establish yourself as a thought leader. 

However, even the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. If your attorneys have what it takes to be a source for journalists, but you can’t seem to develop that relationship with them—or don’t have the time to do it, we’d love to help! Let’s have a conversation about how we might be able to help your attorneys become go-to sources.

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Mitchell Williams Law

Legal Content Marketing

We helped this growing mid-size law firm better position its attorneys as experts in key practice areas by delivering curated content.
 

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Are You the Next Rock Star on the Ghidotti Team?

The Ghidotti Team is overflowing with full-fledged rock stars. Sure – we’re looking for the best, brightest, most creative, most organized. You get the picture. But what we REALLY want is someone who we can laugh with, depend on, learn from and do great work together. Learn more about who we’re looking for and what you can expect.

Ghidotti is currently hiring a Media Relations Specialist and Fall PR Intern! 

Media Relations Specialist

The media relations specialist should possess superb project management and organizational skills, as well as excellent communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment.

To ensure success, media relations specialists should demonstrate fantastic time management, great creativity with a keen interest in creating and implementing cost-efficient and effective media campaigns, as well as effectively analyze the impact of campaigns on the company’s bottom line.

By assisting the team in the execution of client activities and learning the basics of services offered across all areas of the agency, the media relations specialist will play a crucial role in supporting client service teams. 

Main Responsibilities

  • Write client and internal correspondence effectively and with limited supervision.
  • Develop content for broadcast, print and online distribution channels to include press releases, media advisories, blogs, e-newsletters and website content with limited supervision.
  • Negotiate with media channels to close competitive deals.
  • Serve as the agency’s media liaison and formal spokesperson, and effectively place client messages and spokespeople in target media outlets.
  • Scan the media marketplace to keep up-to-date on the latest media trends.
  • Successfully plan and execute client activities such as media tours, digital and social campaigns, business missions and/or other special events. 
  • Proactively identify story ideas and work with the supervisor to develop.
  • Successfully manage independently the execution of all client content calendars, which can include media relations pitch calendars, blogs, social content and paid media campaigns.
  • Exhibit competency and efficiency in drafting copy for client marketing materials and/or campaigns, such as website content, e-newsletters, collateral materials, paid media campaigns, etc. 
  • As it relates to social/digital media, regularly suggest ideas, manage the planning, and comfortably execute campaigns on behalf of clients. 
  • Assist in the management of interns, when applicable. 
  • Monitor all campaigns, and report on results.
  • Build long-term relationships with media houses.
  • Easily navigate agency platforms such as Cision, TVEyes, Sprout Social, Sprinklr.

 

Fall PR Intern

We’re looking for a resourceful go-getter who enjoys fast-paced work in an agency environment and is eager to learn the ins and outs of public relations, media relations, social media management and content marketing.Our team members are expected to complete high-quality work, juggle multiple tasks, keep projects on track, and be accountable for results. The right candidate will be a motivated problem-solver who will thrive in a deadline-driven environment.

Responsibilities:

  • Writing for social media
  • Posting to social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter)
  • Creating Canva graphics
  • Brainstorming/Researching Ideas
  • Logging media clips
  • Assisting with video production and Facebook lives for clients
  • Building media contact lists
  • Uploading content to content management sites for clients
  • Assist with client events
  • Media Relations outreach
  • Attend internal meetings and potentially take notes for client meetings
  • Assist with office errands and organization
  • Assist with general project management and scheduling

What We Want:

  • Experience with writing/posting to social media sites and using Canva is preferred.
  • Experience with photography and/or video creation or production is a plus.
  • Creative problem-solver
  • Organized and able to prioritize work under pressure
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • You are resourceful.
  • You are humble.
  • You know what needs to be done because it just comes naturally.
  • You are accurate with an attention to detail.
  • You follow instructions.
  • You have a life outside of work that you love and nurture.
  • You love learning new things.
  • You ask questions when appropriate and know how to Google the simple things like your life depends on it!
  • You treat our clients and your team members with respect.
  • You are funny.
  • You are caring.
  • You are a good friend and co-worker.
  • You are creative and think of brilliant ideas in your sleep.
  • You are resourceful. It’s so important that we’re mentioning it again!

Rock Star Environment

We strive to create a fun, engaging atmosphere where high fives, chicken minis, and celebrations are commonplace. We lift one another up, honor achievements and reward hard work.

  1. Professional Enrichment

    Whether instructor-led, web-based or sharing during Fireside Friday, we are always learning more!

  2. Community Engagement

    We love the state of Arkansas. Our team enjoys outings to locally-owned businesses and pride ourselves on community involvement. In addition, employees are often offered free tickets to community events to get out and enjoy life with friends and family.

  3. Team Building

    Quarterly adventures for the team!

  4. Winter Recess

    We shut this place down at the holidays so we can all rest, relax and reinvigorate for the new year.

  5. Summer Fridays

    We get an early jump on the weekend every Friday during the summer.

  6. Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

    Along with your PTO, you also get VTO to use to support your favorite charity or organization.

Does this describe you?

To apply, please submit the following via email to careers@ghidotti.com

  1. Cover letter and PDF of your resume 
  2. References: 2-3 minimum
  3. Tell us how you heard about this position