Media Tips for Our Clients

When you are responding to a media query that has been posted by a journalist, there are a few things that you need to know:

  • Meet the deadline. Some deadlines are a few days and some are only a couple of hours. In either case, respond immediately. Many reporters will turn off their queries after they have received enough responses.
  • Put the topic of the query in the subject line of your e-mail.
  • In your e-mail, immediately identify yourself, your expertise and the name of your business in one sentence. Be memorable in how your describe yourself. How are you different from everyone else who could answer this query? Include your biographical information or a summary of your credentials toward the end of the e-mail, along with your contact information.
  • Embed your press pod in your email so journalists can access your press kit  and get a sense for the full depth of your experience and expertise.
  • Answer the journalist’s query with a direct response, in two or three sentences. Don’t just say you are available to talk by phone. Be memorable in your response, but keep it brief.
  • Don’t just send journalists to your blog or website. Merely stating that you have had success with the requested topic, but providing only a reference to elsewhere “for more information” will put you in the delete pile.
  • Don’t send attachments unless specifically requested.
  • Write the precise answer to their question and keep it brief. You don’t have to serve up the entire dish—just enough to pique their interest.
  • Don’t switch your pitch. Do not “pitch” the journalist with what you really want to talk about in lieu of providing a direct response to their query. This is sure death.
  • Whatever you say or write can be used out of context. It also can stay on the internet for a long time. Choose your words wisely. There is a much lower risk of being misquoted when your response is in writing.
  • Follow up once more before deadline to ask if the journalist has what they need. This kind of conscientious monitoring increases the likelihood of placement. Be gracious and offer to continue to be a source. And ask if they will send you an e-mail when the story goes live (to print, online or on-air.)
  • You are never obligated to respond to a press request. If you do not feel the query is relevant or if you are otherwise busy, you may pass on an opportunity.
  • Save your responses so you can repurpose them for additional PR opportunities. Some of our clients have created brochures, blogs and books based on content generated by their responses to the press.