How should a PR
company build up a good
relationship with the press for its clients?
Here are a few guidelines
- Try to avoid ringing up journalists just to ask if
they have received your release. This is the bane of journalists'
lives. They can receive hundreds of press releases each week, and if
everyone routinely rang to check up on their release there wouldn't be
any time to put an issue together.
- Press releases need to be written in a significantly
different style from brochures or advertisements. Giving the 'hard
sell' to a journalist is a big turn-off.
- When ringing up editors about their interest in a
possible article for example, don't ring as an issue is approaching its
press deadline. Find out the magazine's publishing schedule and ring
early in the cycle, when the editor will have more time. For dailies
early afternoon is a good time.
- When compiling target media lists make sure the
publications cover your field. A large proportion of information that
journalists receive is simply not relevant.
- Make sure your lists of target publications
are up to date. Addressing a release to a journalist who left two years
ago does not inspire confidence! There are commercially available
databases which give comprehensive listings of publications and
journalists in the UK and overseas – at a price – such as Agility,
- When sending out press releases by email, it is best
to put the
release into the body of the message rather than as an attachment. This
because attachments take up more room, take time to open and carry the
risk of viruses. Many journalists prefer the email to be in plain text
rather than html for similar reasons.
sending out Word documents, be aware that they can contain a record of
all the revisions made during their production. Plenty of scope for
- When responding to a request for more information,
don't email a 20 Mbyte Powerpoint presentation! Bear in mind the size
of any attachments you send. Journalists are frequently on the road and
using relatively slow mobile connections.
- To avoid sending unsolicited attachments by email,
images can be sent on request, or made available for download from a
'press centre' on the client's web site.
- Make sure digital images for printed publications
have a high enough resolution.
Requirements are usually a jpg (rgb format) with 300
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