19 Aug Top tips for approaching journalists
A PR campaign is a great way to raise your brand’s profile with the ultimate goal of increasing sales and improving margins. But getting your brand in front of a journalist is not straightforward. We’ve put together our top tips to help you approach a journalist in the best way to get you and your brand noticed:
Do your research
Journalists are bombarded with emails daily from companies eager to get content about their products, services and brand published. Therefore, it is important to research the publication and its audience so you can tailor your story for them. It is also worth getting hold of the publications’ forward features list, often available on their websites, so you can see what they are working on as your content may be relevant to a specific feature.
Make it memorable
Make sure you personalise your email to the journalist so they remember you.
A good example is to comment on a recent article they may have written, this will show you have put some effort into your email and their work. However, don’t overdo it and comment on something they have posted on their personal social media account, otherwise you may be known as the stalker! Make sure you choose a catchy subject heading, keep it short and don’t overload the email with too much text. A journalist won’t have lots of time to read it so get the key points across in early, and in a creative way to give the journalist more reason to respond.
Make it visual
Adding an image to the body of an email will make it more eye catching and impactful when it arrives in an inbox. If you are launching a new product for instance, a journalist will want to see what it is. There is no point talking about a new product, a new venue or a new property without an image to reflect it. As a rule of thumb, do not send a high res image (over 1MB) in your email as big images may not always reach your recipients mailbox. Keep it small and send a higher res image if the journalist requests it – another reason for them to respond.
Get it right
If you are sending the story to more than one journalist, the worst thing you can do is forward or copy a previous email and forget to change the name to who you are sending it to. This is a big fail, which is likely to end up in the journalist’s deleted items. Spelling and grammatical errors are also a faux pas and extremely lazy. Make sure you double check your email for mistakes and ensure you are factually correct before you hit the send button.
Pick up the phone
It is important to build a relationship with a journalist, and calling them to follow up on your email is a good way for them to get to know you. Be friendly, confident, get to the point and call with a smile on your face. Find out if they have received your email and remind them what it is about. The journalist may ask you to resend it, but at least they know your name and can look out for the email from you. If you end up chatting for longer you may even find you have something in common which is never a bad thing if you plan to call again.
Remember, this is not an advertisement. If you send in ‘puff’ you are likely to damage your future PR opportunities beyond repair, not to mention your reputation. Always think of the benefits to the journalists’ audience and ask yourself why they would want your content. At RONIN our experienced team of PR professionals can do the hard work for you. They have the contacts, the knowledge and the creativity to get your brand in front of the press. Contact us here to find out how we can help.
If you get all this right then you have more of a chance to get your brand noticed. A journalist may even be working on a feature that suits your brand perfectly, so timing is be key.