Literally every PR firm claims to have relationships. They’ve got the great connections that are just dying to hear about your product. This is an easy lie for people to make, because it is hard to verify if it is true or not.
What is a relationship with a journalist? A relationship with a journalist takes years to build. You pitch them products, they write about it, you pitch them more, they write about more of them. Eventually the journalist knows who you are and knows what to expect from you. There is a level of trust there. Eventually, the journalist gives you their phone number so you can pitch them directly (no email involved). This is the holy grail.
Here is what one of our relationships looks like with a journalist at Buzzfeed. Check out the video below to see how long our ongoing conversation with the journalist is (hint: years). You can also see that the journalist asks us for help finding her a source with an article: