Editorial requests are a great first step to building a relationship with a journalist, it is the only time they’ll come to you looking for content. However, in order to make the most out of this opportunity you need to be as helpful as possible in your response without overloading them with information.
Although responses need to be short and simple, one liners such ‘I'm interested in this, I run a startup’ or ‘this is me, please contact me on’ don’t give the journalist any information about yourself, your business and why you are relevant to their request.
Depending on whether the journalist is asking for a quote, case study or products for a gift guide you need to introduce your company. At the beginning of the response include your company name, what you do and where you’re based in one to two lines - this helps the journalist understand if you’re relevant and where you may fit in to their article.
Next, you will need to focus on your direct response to the request. If they are looking for a quote remember to include the name of the person and also their position within the company. It may be helpful to keep a collection of quotes from CEOs and directors, this way when a journalist asks for a quote about your business or a comment on a key news date you can be quick to respond.
When they’re looking for a case study, bullet point a few key facts about your story. For example if the journalist is looking for a business who has faced late payment issues, quickly list when this happened to your company, how it affected your company and whether or not it has been resolved.
If it's relevant to the request, try to introduce statistics or figures in your response. Journalists like to get some concrete elements to talk about. They are looking for 'insights' and 'information' that readers will find news worthy.
If they’re looking for products for a gift or shopping guide it is important to be prepared with high resolution images. Send two to three images with a short description, price and where it is available to buy, if possible include the link. Offer the journalist the opportunity to see further product images if they wish.
At the end of your response make it easy for the journalist to get in touch with you by including the best email and number to reach you on. Mention when you’ll be available to talk, for example, if you have a meeting that afternoon or you’ll be at a conference the next day, let them know so they can arrange a time to call that suits you both. However, make sure when a journalist does get in touch that you are prepared with the correct information, as well as further quotes and high-res images.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions at the end of your response, for example, if a publication hasn't yet been mentioned, ask where this could possibly be placed. However simply replying with ‘Which publication is this for?’ without first offering what the journalist is looking for, is less likely to receive a response.
Remember: Keep the response short, simple and concise. If the journalist needs further information about the company or founders background they will be in touch.
Here's a response example to get you started:
Hi (Journalist Name),
I’m responding to your new media request for (Copy Request). My company (Name), a start-up company which (Short Description) in (Where? The UK, London etc.).
(Insert short response/quote for the request.)
Please call me on (Number) or email me at (Email) to arrange a chat, I am available all day and between 10:00 – 13:00 tomorrow.
Could I please ask what publication this is for? I’d be happy to help.
For more help on responding to editorial requests contact the JournoLink team at mailto:email@example.com