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How to find and respond to media requests

JournoLink sharing tips on where to find media requests and how to respond to them

Responding to a media request is the easiest way for a business to achieve PR coverage.

What is a media request?

Without case studies and third-party opinions and good images, journalists’ articles are going nowhere. Quite simply journalists 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 having their article published. If a journalist's article isn’t used, the journalist risks losing their presence with the media, and potentially their job.

Even more so, for freelance journalists as they rely on their articles being taken by newspapers and magazines.

This is where a Media Request comes into play. 

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 comments 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 requests rather than specifically relating just to a business sector.

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 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 on to their business subscribers. JournoLink is one such service, specialising in 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.

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. 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.

For more help with your PR contact

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