After a while of communicating with them via email and making my various requests known, they slowly started to recognize my name and face. I was sort of like branding myself in that respect. This is why it is important to use the same name, write in the style and use the same picture in your email. Eventually, they will begin to reciprocate in like manner. I think the key is to stick with it and never give up, but be consistent in contacting them. Your consistent presence - not nagging - will earn you a certain amount of respect and they just might actually start reading what you send to them. And, they just might start trusting that what you are sending them is legitimate and worth their time. This is how professional relationships are cultivated. You don't have to necessarily shower them gifts either, though small inexpensive thoughtful gifts are usually much appreciated and remembered. The key is to be patient and respectful. Eventually, these two genuine characteristics will win you the attention you are seeking.
For more on how to win over the media, consider a new book by my friend Torry Martin.
"Shameless Self Promotion and Networking for Christian Creatives"