If you’re in a company, focus on the business press first, but don’t ignore opportunities to talk about events that are covered in the general press (e.g., newspapers). Get to know a freelance writer or two. Introduce yourself to a reporter from your local paper. Contact writers or editors of local business magazines or newspapers, trade journals, or technical newsletters. Let them
know who you are and what you do.
Find out if your employer – whether a university, company, or government agency – has PR folks on staff who routinely push out information about important and newsworthy work within your organization. Feed those staff details about your work rather than waiting for them to come knocking at your door. Remember that your relationship with reporters is personal. You want them to like you, so connect with people you like. You want them to make you look good and get your word out. You must also want to make them look good by giving them interesting things to write about and interesting stories to convey.
Eventually, if the chemistry is there and you are patient, reporters will begin to truly understand what human factors/ergonomics is and what you do. At this point the effort becomes more synergistic and the ideas expand and flow.
Eventually the reporters, writers, editors, and internal PR staff will seek you out for your thoughts on emerging technologies, breaking events, and reactions to other stories. The key is to realize that this is their job and that the more they see you as helping them do a better job, the more they can help you get exposure and facilitate your public relations effort.
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