How to Become a Trusted Resource

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Good public relations is built on one thing, trust.

In a time when people have a hard time trusting anyone, you should constantly work to position yourself as someone who can be trusted. Position yourself as someone who others look up to because she/he knows what they are talking about.

The good news is achieving trust is actually easier than you might think.

By establishing yourself as a smart, helpful and dependable source, you will begin to earn people’s trust. Once that trust turns into established relationships, you will begin to see a shift from proactive media relations, to reactive. Basically, media will begin to come to you for help.

Instead of pitching your jewelry made of recycled metals, an accessories editor will reach out to let you know they are doing a story on recycled jewelry and ask if you are interested in sending over samples.

In addition to building relationships by working on specific stories together, social media—specifically Twitter—offers another avenue to get onto an editor’s radar. Writers are using Twitter more and more to find sources for stories. Make a concerted effort to develop relationships with editors and reporters through this medium. If they announce something interesting, respond, retweet, or send them a quick note as a direct message or email. Remembering what people like can really work in your favor.

Create a Twitter list that’s exclusively for editors you want to connect with so you can easily keep track of those folks and engage with them. Maintain ongoing communication to stay top-of-mind, and you’ll be the one they reach out to the next time they need a source for a story.

It’s also valuable to pay attention to your Twitter feed and the content that’s being shared. If you notice a tweet where a fashion blogger bemoans her inability to find a pair of yoga pants, and you know of a great under-the-radar brand (even if it’s not yours), send a reply! Take the opportunity to send a helpful email sharing your insider knowledge. Quickly mention that you are the founder of such and such, wish him/her best of luck and go about your day. Most likely when you do have a pitch you think they would be interested in, an email from you will merit a read.

Remember, being helpful is how you develop relationships and build your reputation.

Are you a trusted resource in your industry? If not, what’s holding you back?

Want free templates and helpful tips like the ones above plus more? Check out The Buzz: A Media Darling’s Guide to Press Coverage and get on the wait list for Hearsay’s soon-to-be-launched PR mastermind group.