When should you contact journalists?

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make when trying to run their own PR campaigns is contacting journalists at the wrong time. You have an interesting idea, you have written it up in an appropriate and compelling format and you are ready to contact the media. But if you call a weekly title on press day, a daily title after four o’clock or a monthly title just before they are about to go to print you will get very short shrift indeed.

So when should you contact journalists? Well, you need to find the answer to that question on a case by case basis (or pay someone to do it for you). For some journalists it’s simple; if a weekly magazine lands on your desk on Wednesday, it’s not a great idea to ring the editor on Monday.

For others it’s a bit more complex. I once knew a journalist who loved getting calls last thing on a Friday; because that was when he liked to work on his writing, spending much of the rest of the week doing research, making site visits and meeting potential subjects. However, I wouldn’t recommend ringing most journalists on a Friday night!

The bottom line is that you need an in depth knowledge of the media you are dealing with. I know that sounds complex, but if you are working in a universe of only about twenty trade titles, it isn’t difficult to keep a list of twenty good times to ring. If you call at the right time, you will find that short shrift can become a long and useful conversation.

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Richard Stone

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

2 comments:

Annabel ~ Love My Dress said...

Excellent points Richie and something I'd have totally overlooked. I will contact you soon regarding some PR advice, if that's OK. I'm so ready to go now, and don't want to make any mistakes that might let me down...
Kindest regards,
Annabel :)

Richard Stone - Stone Junction said...

Thanks Annabel - look forward to hearing from you.

Rich