Media: a complicated creature

This month, thanks to Fifty Acres’ commitment to ongoing learning, I had the great pleasure to attend Meet the Media Perth edition, hosted by Media Stable, headed by the very knowledgeable Nic Hayes.  

Featuring panels of journalists from across print, radio and television, I returned with a few tips and tricks which may help your media journey:

  1. Journalists don’t necessarily like attachments

It seems with full inboxes, and many emails unread, journalists feel opening an attachment is just one more thing they need to do to discover a story.  The advice from the panelists was to place your media release in the body of the email, as it makes things easier. 

  1. Copy in the Chief of Staff

Perhaps most relevant to television, Channel Nine’s Chief of Staff (COS) suggested that as gatekeeper, the COS must read all emails and action accordingly, whilst in contrast, many journalists will answer at their discretion. So it goes without saying – if you are looking for a response, or perhaps some feedback – the COS can help.

  1. Subject Lines Matter

As it has been for decades now – your email subject line is key. With so many emails arriving throughout the day, journalists will react to subject lines which speak to them.  Move away from the old days of “Media release attached”, and use a captivating headline or provocative statement to let them know your news angle early.

  1. Get to the Point

It’s a blunt statement – but completely understandable from the media’s perspective. Unfortunately, (and it truly is unfortunate), yours is not the only release or pitch a journalist will read in a day. Sometimes – on a busy day – their emails are in the high hundreds. At their core – journalists are story hunters. They want to figure out, (quickly if possible), what story you have for them, and whether it is of interest.  Ensure all your major points are in the first few sentences. I was devastated to learn at the event that journalists hardly read beyond the first couple of paragraphs before deciding to proceed with the story. 

  1. It’s completely acceptable to call 

In the early 2000’s, I attended a conference where one journalist said – do not call – we are busy, we will not answer you. Just don’t bother. Today’s journalist, it seems, is a little more understanding, and up for a chat. Whilst they are not the social sally kind, if you haven’t heard from them, it seems nowadays calls are completely acceptable as a means to follow up on your pitch or release.  

If you need some media help, consider Fifty Acres, some of our most recent pitches have reached over 500K people.

We love what we do, and are ready to help. 

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