How to win journalist friends and influence them

Tim Aldred
Jan 16, 2015 · 11 min read

Where to find journalists

Last year, I was asked to speak at a “meet a journalist” event where businesses were given the chance to ask the questions they’d always pondered, and by far the most common was, “how do I know who to contact?”

How to pitch something a journalist wants to see

Squash that fear you have of contacting somebody who you don’t know. The quality of your ideas will be the main deciding factor.

What goes into a press release

Open your story with who did what. I get hundreds of stories emailed to me every day and I’m not even remotely famous. Still, I don’t have much time to dedicate to each individual email, so I really appreciate it when you get to the point quickly. And for that matter, so do my readers.

How to send a press release

Send your press releases by email, with a nice description as a subject. “Press release” is an awful subject line. It tells me nothing and even if I like what you’ve sent, there will be no way for me to ever find it again. “Press release: Widgets plc recruits 50 staff” is much better.

Following up

The only time you should follow up is if you’ve already had some dialogue with the journalist and you know they’re interested in your story.

Photography

I love good photography, and so should you.

Picture of Paul Hardy, Hardy Services, courtesy of Flex Media.

    Tim Aldred

    Written by

    Freelance feature writer. As seen in the Guardian, Daily Telegraph and more.

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