When was the last time a journalist responded to a press release saying “Wow, this is a great piece of news, I am going to run this for my readers immediately.” It has been awhile for me as well and if you have had success landing a feature through a press release alone congrats to you!

Today’s newsrooms are understaffed and overworked with staff under even more pressure to crank out stories and content in a 24/7 news cycle. Whether a glossy travel magazine’s digital component, local insider real estate blog or coveted national morning show, all media are seeking compelling stories with limited time to research – and they need everything yesterday!

One way to be a writer or producer’s best friend (and have a happy client) is to bring as many components of a story together in a concise manner. Collaborating with partners and stakeholders, who can be resources for a story idea, can help land that feature and at the same time improve goodwill for all parties.

Here are five questions to ask yourself when pitching with pals/strategic partners to land solid substantial earned media placements:

Who else makes sense to be in the story?

When pitching a story, you know the writer is going to look for multiple resources to justify what you are pitching is news. The new MiamiCentral development, part of Florida’s Brightline train project, is a flagship development in downtown Miami. Collaborating with other downtown partners including the Miami Downtown Development Authority, Greater Miami CVB and even the Miami Heat/AmericanAirlines Arena to offer contacts as surrogates has helped tell the Brightline narrative. Multiple perspectives and voices are better than one.

Could a trade or beat writer be useful?

Pitching a story to a publication whose readership is made up of a general audience, offering a trade journalist or segment-specific writer as a resource can be helpful in selling your message. Collaborating with a beat writer or expert from Seatrade Cruise News or Cruise Critic when pitching a story can be extremely beneficial, for topics ranging from river cruising in the Pacific Northwest to small boutique ports accessible by smaller vessels only.

How could we be a good source?

The media world is as competitive as ever and writers/producers are always on the lookout for a tip. If you have a source that can offer knowledge on a topic that may not directly translate into a feature on the client, go ahead and share. That building of goodwill can generate future coverage and who doesn’t believe in a little good karma now and then?

Is there an opportunity to tap into the media PR machine?

Awards and publication’s top lists are important accolades for clients to share with their stakeholders but working closely with the award entities can drive exposure exponentially. Publications have their own media relations professionals always seeking opportunities for their editors and experts. Collaborate with these pals to seek mutually beneficial coverage for everyone involved.

A local partner to generate wider attention?

The American Queen Steamboat Company team is always working closely with the convention and visitor’s bureaus in cities visited by its vessels in both the America’s heartland and the Pacific Northwest. Often times, spokespeople on behalf of towns like Paducah, Natchez and Vancouver, Washington can serve as surrogates for the boats, their impact on local economies and offer authentic descriptions to stories. This local expertise can provide exactly what a national outlet is seeking and move a story from concept to reality. Sometimes it is utilizing all story resources to tell an even stronger narrative.

Is there a partner story that deserves to be told?

Working with convention and visitor’s bureaus we often think only about tourism. However, these days economic development is an important aspect of public relations for communities traditionally based on a hospitality economy. Opening a wider lens to find partners with stories indirectly impacting tourism can be a great way to generate coverage and goodwill. In Panama City Beach, the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) Visit Panama City Beach is often supporting the film industry as an example. Both indirectly support each other and are a positive commerce story to tell.

Can I share the love on social?

When working with partners on your pitch, be sure to collaborate and merchandise the earned coverage on social media. Re-tweet the story, tag, and help drive traffic to both the partner’s site and the journalist’s website or social media handles.

It is simple media relations 101, but successful PR practitioners are still the ones that can tell their client’s story and make the journalist’s job easier at the same time. Just pitching a compelling story idea doesn’t land a feature and delivering that story on a silver platter is a must. Thinking like a journalist, getting in their head, knowing their beat and ultimately being a true resource is key to cutting through the clutter in today’s everchanging landscape.

Going to the press to tell your story can be a lot easier with a team of partners and resources to share they know can be counted on to make their job easier. Pitching with pals can be a lot more successful than going at it alone.