IT’S no secret that journalists are facing difficult times, with the number of staffers down considerably compared to the newsrooms of old.
And while this is terrible for the media and its professionals, it does present a golden opportunity for businesses who can get their PR act together.
By giving time-pressed journalists the content they need, when they need it, you’re in a great position to get your firm in the headlines.
But to do so you need to act quick and professionally. So I suggest having an email template ready to go when the right moment arises.
We have a few tried and tested ones that work well for us:
Answering a journalist’s request
Have you ever seen the #journorequest on Twitter? It’s just that – a request from a journalist for information about a specific topic. If you have something relevant to say on the subject, contact the journalist right away.
This is our go to email when it comes to replying to requests:
Hi [always use the name of the journalist sending the request],
I saw your request about [insert subject here] on Twitter and wanted to get in touch with some information from [insert name and job title].
[Insert RELEVANT quotes, information, stats]
If you would like any further information at all, please do not hesitate to get in touch. My direct line is [XXX] or you can get reach me by email.
I have also attached a high res image of [expert] should you need it.
Pitch a feature idea
If you have a great story that you believe should be in your local newspaper or trade publication, don’t wait for the journalist to find you – go straight to them. You never know, it might land in their inbox at just the right time. If not, with a decent introductory email you’ll be on their radar when the opportunity does arise.
EMAIL SUBJECT LINE: Potential story for [publication]
Hi [journalist name],
I would like to suggest an article for [publication] on the topic of [insert brief article overview]. The piece would be written by [name and job title] and would cover [fuller description].
I would be happy to supply all content and images.
If you would like to discuss this further please don’t hesitate to get in touch on [direct number] or [email].
If you are happy for me to write the piece, please let me know a word count and deadline.
Distributing a press release
Got some company news? Shout about it.
Now, the golden rule when sending a press release is always paste it into the body of an email. Attach it too if you want, but always paste to make it easier for the journalist to see.
Insert the press release header into the subject line
Hi [journalist name],
Please find below the latest press release from [company name] regarding [subject]. I have also attached some high res images.
INSERT PRESS RELEASE
If you have any further queries at all, please do not hesitate to get in touch on [direct number] or drop me a line at this email address.
Want to get some key journalists over to your big launch event? Forget invitations, journalists may not be able to RSVP due to deadlines and breaking news stories, so give them an all-access pass instead.
SUBJECT LINE: Press access to [event]
Please find your press pass for [event].
The event will take place on [date] at [location] and will showcase [event details].
There will also be the opportunity to ask [name, title] any questions and sample [what can they expect to experience].
We will also be providing refreshments.
We hope to see you on [date] at [location]. Your name will be on the list.
Do get in touch with any queries.