First contact

First contact Part 1

This week’s two-part instalment from Red Marlin on how to maximise your PR activity looks at how to approach the media.

Contrary to what many people believe, the vast, vast majority of the media are not out to get you with a hatchet job but instead use their professionalism to be fair and objective.

The second part is this Thursday, so make sure to check it out.

Don’t time-waste

You must be sure that your story or pitch is newsworthy before even approaching the media. If you don’t think it is going to be interesting then it is unlikely that anyone else will, and this includes advertising dressed up as news.

Also be careful to avoid being too inward looking. What might seem incredibly important to you and your business might have little wider appeal.

It’s good to talk?

While making initial contact by picking up the phone might seem the most obvious thing to do, bear in mind that journalists are often juggling a lot of balls, so a concise email with all the main points might be a better first approach.

This way it will allow the journalist time to digest what you have to say and, from that, make an informed decision.

Should you not receive any reply from your email, then a quick follow-up call could pay dividends but don’t pester your contact. If they are not interested, then let it go.

Name game

When distributing a press release it can pay dividends to personalise your message, although if your distribution list has multiple contacts then this might not be possible due to time constraints.

Remember to consider when your recipient will receive your email. First thing on a Monday morning and it could get lost in the start of the week rush, whereas sending it out on a Friday afternoon and it could be forgotten about over the weekend.

While there’s no exact science, Tuesday’s are considered one of the best days to make an approach.

Next instalment on ‘First contact’ this Thursday.

For more information about a free one-hour PR audit for your business, or more guidance on ‘First contact’, please email

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