If you’re looking for ways to meet your favorite local journalist in a relaxed a relaxed social setting, join your local press club.
Press clubs promote journalism excellence through a variety of programs, activities and monthly meetings. Most members are from the working press, but plenty of PR people also belong.
David Niles, former editor of the Small Business Times in Milwaukee and a former president of the Milwaukee Press Club, says press club membership for either business people or publicists who represent them is a no-brainer for Publicity Hounds. Here’s why:
—Anybody can join. The only requirement is that you “have an interest in the media.”
–About one-fourth of the members are PR people, which means you won’t feel out of place.
–You can pitch the journalists in a relaxed setting, often over lunch or dinner. But be diplomatic. David recommends you say, “I’ve got some great things going on. Is it OK if I talk to you now?”
–Press club membership in your local chapter means you can have access to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
—Dues won’t break the budget. In Milwaukee, non-journalists pay just $75 a year. Students pursuing a communications degree pay only $10.
—You can meet journalists in your community numerous times throughout the year at major events and monthly meetings.
David says press clubs in Atlanta, New Orleans, Cleveland and Denver are particularly strong. The Milwaukee Press Club has one of the most comprehensive lists of press clubs in the U.S. and Canada at its website at
Now that you’re thinking of joining, know what you must do to build those valuable relationships that will pay huge dividends later. See “Special Report #49: 17 Ways to Build Valuable Relationships with Media People.”