Updated: Aug 2, 2022
You’ve got an incredible piece of research to share, it’s COP26 and your comms teams are gathering the most relevant stories as possible to share in the national media.
The challenges you have as comms teams are that often those journalists in mainstream news and day-to-day news desks are going to be tracking those key stories already. To get beyond that is really difficult.
How do you get your research into the news?
We asked social affairs journalist Hannah Fearn what are the most common mistakes people make when they’re pitching to be heard in the clamour of the newsroom. As a journalist, columnist, reporter and weekly feature writer in the Independent, as well as 7 years as comment and opinion editor, she knows better than anyone. Here’s what she told us:
If you’re still sending out emails with press releases on a batch mail out, you can pretty much guarantee it’s going to be deleted. Here are a couple of her top tips - try these instead:
Choose your outlet based on the content you’ve got. Get relationships going at different publications and build them based on the right publication for your stories. Don’t go to the same journalist every time.
Think about the relationships you have with journalists. You’ve got to build those relationships. It’s easier than ever to find a rapport with journalists now using Twitter and other social media channels. Talk to them about other things first, work out what they’re looking for, then go in for the kill with your pitch.
Chase… and then chase again Finally, don't be afraid to chase hard. Hannah says commissioning editors receive up to 700 emails a day and can’t read most of them, so if you don’t chase your pitch will be missed. The most persistent people get the most coverage, and it’s actually very difficult to become an annoyance.