Responding to a media request is the easiest way for a business to achieve PR coverage.
Firstly…….What is a media request
Without case studies and third party opinions and good images, journalists’ articles are going nowhere. Quite simply they need businesses to talk to as they are planning and writing their articles. The better the third party input and images, the more chance they have of winning the approval of their editor, and being used. If they aren’t used, they quickly lose their standing as a journalists, and potentially their job.
Even more so, freelance journalist. They aren’t employed and rely on their articles being taken by newspapers and magazines.
The ‘request’ is simply that.
For example recent requests through JournoLink have been:
“Do you travel for business? What has changed”….Freelancer
“Looking to chat you young people working from home who haven’t met their colleagues”….Daily Mail
“Urgent…Looking for comment or recommendations for best UK beaches”… Mother and Baby Magazine
“What are the hottest wedding trends right now?”….Daily Telegraph
They can be as mixed as that and are frequently lifestyle request rather than specifically relating just to a business sector.
Secondly how do businesses find media requests
Journalists use three main routes to find businesses
- They have their own contacts list but this can quickly get stale, and they are always looking to find new contributors
- They can use of the online media request services. These only target the businesses that subscribe to the specific service, which works well for the business but less so for the journalist. The main services that they look to range in price and focus, from Response Source at the more expensive end, which charges businesses on a sector basis, and JournoLink, which positions itself as the affordable solution for small businesses.
- They post their request on Twitter. This is easy for the journalists but relies on businesses who want to respond, continually watching a whole range of Twitter feeds. To make the businesses’ lives easier, and save them the time and inconvenience of this, some of the services actually pick the requests out of Twitter and pass them onto their business subscribers. JournoLink is one such service, specialising is requests for smaller businesses, intelligently filtering appropriate opportunities for businesses and passing them on in real time. JournoLink is the natural place for small businesses, freelancers and agencies to subscribe to for their media requests.
Thirdly what’s the best way to respond to a media request
The journalist wants to know three things
- What you are referring to….they may have put out several requests
- What it is about you or your business that makes you the ideal business case or comment for them to use. They won’t read pages of your corporate strategy. Two or three sentences is all they want, but add your website details too so that they can check you out if they are interested
- What your contact details are. They may just reference you, but they may want to talk further. JournoLink’s founder responded to a freelancer looking for ‘someone who had invested in starting a business after leaving a corporate job’. He was contacted for interview, had several photos taken and found himself with a double page spread several weeks later.
If you don’t leave your details…you will lose the opportunity.
Responding quickly is important too. Even though a journalist might say that they have a deadline several days later, they will often take the first one or two respondents.
And if they do make contact, take the call there and then. Don’t risk them just moving to the next on the list.