Building Strong Media Relationships: A Guide on How to Work Well with Press

One of the biggest requests we receive from clients and prospects is earned media coverage. Fintechs want to be featured in publications like American Banker, ABA Banking Journal, BAI Banking Strategies, Credit Union Times and many others. After all, these publications are well-respected by our industry and read by thousands of executives at banks, credit unions and lenders across the nation.

Is it possible to be featured? Absolutely! And it’s not as challenging as it seems.

Collaboration with the media is a crucial aspect of any successful business or brand. Whether you’re a fintech looking to promote a new product, a startup seeking visibility, or an individual cultivating a personal brand, establishing and maintaining positive relationships with the media is key.

In this blog, we’ll explore practical strategies on how to work well with media to increase your chances of being spotlighted.

Know Who You’re Pitching

To work effectively with the media, it’s essential to understand the landscape. Different outlets have distinct audiences, tones, and preferences. Research and identify the media platforms that align with your message and target audience. Understanding the nuances of each outlet will help you tailor your approach and increase your chances of successful collaboration.


Offer a Compelling Story

Whether you’re pitching a story or providing content, focus on crafting a compelling narrative and less about pushing a product or brand. And this includes press releases. After all, it’s about information sharing. If you’re looking to market products, creating an advertising strategy or pursuing content marketing may be a better approach.


Set Realistic Expectations 

Unless it’s paid content, a story is unlikely to be all about one fintech — even if you include case studies with testimonials from financial institutions. Instead, editors and reporters are looking for broader trends where insights can be included. This presents an opportunity for you to be quoted. However, be mindful that an interview does not guarantee you’ll be included.


Understand The Audience 

Speak from the audience’s perspective; not yours or even the reporter’s. For instance, if you’re pitching or speaking to American Banker, the story needs to be about the bank and how it can improve profitability, refine its operations or reduce risk, as examples. Not how your fintech does all those things.


Walk Before Running 

If you’re looking to position yourself as a thought leader, start by posting blogs on your website, sharing insights on LinkedIn, and authoring stories for publications. By consistently and frequently sharing unique or controversial thoughts, media may be more compelled to proactively reach out for stories they’re working on.


Build and Maintain Relationships

Like any other relationship, building rapport with media contacts takes time and effort. Attend industry events, network with journalists, and engage with them on social media. Establishing a genuine connection outside of pitch emails can make your collaboration more fruitful. Remember, a strong relationship can lead to ongoing coverage and a better understanding of your needs.


Be Responsive and Respect Deadlines

Media professionals often work under tight deadlines. Being responsive to inquiries and respecting journalists’ timelines demonstrates your professionalism and makes their jobs easier. If you can consistently provide timely and relevant information, you’ll become a valuable resource they can rely on. It’s also important to make time to speak with them, especially if media coverage is a priority for your fintech. If you are consistently unavailable for 15 or 30 minutes to share your thoughts or offer insights on a particular topic, they’ll stop calling.


Provide Valuable, Well-Prepared Content

To grab the attention of media professionals, your content must be valuable and well-prepared. Whether it’s a press release, interview, or contributed article, ensure that your content is concise, well-researched, and aligned with the outlet’s style. Make it easy for journalists to understand the significance of your story and integrate it into their coverage.


Be Transparent and Authentic

Honesty and transparency go a long way in building trust with the media. If an issue arises, communicate openly and provide the necessary information. Authenticity is valued in the media industry, and being forthright can strengthen your reputation as a reliable source.


Seek Feedback and Learn from Experience

After a media interaction, seek feedback from journalists. Understand what worked well and where there’s room for improvement. Learning from each experience will help you refine your approach, ensuring better collaboration in the future.


Working well with the media is a dynamic and ongoing process that requires a combination of strategy, relationship-building, and effective communication. By understanding the media landscape, crafting compelling narratives, and maintaining transparent and respectful interactions, you can forge strong relationships that contribute to the success and visibility of your brand or message.