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How should a PR company build up a good relationship with the media for its clients?

Here are a few guidelines we follow:

  • Try to avoid ringing up journalists just to ask if they have received your release. This is the bane of journalists' lives. They can receive hundreds of press releases each week, and if everyone rang to check up on their release there wouldn't be any time to put an issue together.
  • News releases need to be written in a different style from brochures or advertisements. Giving the 'hard sell' to a journalist is a big turn-off.
  • When ringing up editors about their interest in a possible article for example, don't ring as an issue is approaching its press deadline. Find out the magazine's publishing schedule and ring early in the cycle, when the editor will have more time. For dailies, early afternoon is a good time.
  • When compiling target media lists make sure the publications cover your field. A large proportion of information that journalists receive is simply not relevant.
  • Make sure your lists of target publications are up to date. Addressing a release to a journalist who left two years ago does not inspire confidence! There are commercially available media databases which give comprehensive listings of publications and journalists in the UK and overseas – at a price – such as Agility PR, Cision and ResponseSource.
  • When sending out press releases by email, it is best to put the release into the body of the message rather than as an attachment. This is because attachments take up more room, take time to open and carry the risk of viruses. Many journalists prefer the email to be in plain text rather than html for similar reasons.
  • If sending out Word documents, be aware that they can contain a record of all the revisions made during their production. Plenty of scope for embarrassment here!
  • When responding to a request for more information, don't email a 20 Mbyte Powerpoint presentation! Bear in mind the size of any attachments you send. Journalists are frequently on the road and can have relatively slow mobile connections.
  • To avoid sending unsolicited attachments by email, images can be sent on request, or made available for download from a 'media centre' on the client's website.
  • Make sure digital images for printed publications have a high enough resolution. Requirements are usually a jpg (rgb format) or png with 300 dpi resolution.

PR for technology companies

antimony communications public relations
5 Chestnut Way Godalming Surrey GU7 1TN UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1483 416807