The relationship between journalists and press officers is critical, but what the press team often wants from their promoted story and what the journalist is after are two different things.
We’ve put together the Koukash Consultancy guide to running a press office below:
When a journalist calls or emails with a request, respond straight away. Sometimes this can be to acknowledge the request and let them know you’re working on it.
MEET THE DEADLINE
Always check the deadline – and if it’s unrealistic, then let the journalist know you may not be able to turn it around. It’s better to be honest from the outset rather than let them down at the last minute. If you can meet the deadline, then make sure you do with time to spare.
Ask relevant questions to make sure you deliver what the journalist is looking for. The questions will vary depending on the request, but here are a few examples for a feature:
- What’s the content about?
- Who else will you be including?
- How many words are you looking for?
- What is the deadline?
For a product-based client, make sure you have a product bank of images – that way, you can quickly respond and sort a press office enquiry. For B2B and corporate campaigns, have images on a file of the critical spokespeople and senior management should you need them.
PROVIDING A QUOTE
If a journalist contacts you wanting a quote from your client, make sure you find out what they want, how long it needs to be and the deadline they’re working to. Be clear on who you quote from the clients’ business, get their input and make sure you get the quote signed off. Sign off is vital even if you and the journalist are working to a very tight deadline.
Some press office enquiries will be turned around and appear within hours. Others can take months. Make sure you follow up and get the best possible outcome for your client.
KEEP IN TOUCH
Once you have those contacts you’ve made through running an efficient press office, go back to them. Thank them for the piece when it appears and offer your client or their product out for other opportunities.
Take a look at our Media Relations courses for more information on how to run an effective press office and manage media relations.
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