How to find a journalists contact details
Posted: Friday July 2 2021
By: Katie Mallinson
If you’re running a small business, doing your own PR, the chances are you will want to look for some media coverage from time to time. All sorts of happenings make good press releases – from business successes and announcements to new products or awards and accolades.
How to find a journalists’ contact details
And to get those press releases to the right people, you will need to contact journalists in one way or other.
But be warned, they are busy. They field calls and emails all day, every day, from people like you, looking for coverage.
They often get frustrated by requests that aren’t relevant to them or their media outlet – but if you give them a good story that their audiences will appreciate, they will be happy to work with you.
So how do you figure out who to contact and how to reach them? Here are five pointers …
Read, watch or listen to their stories
Consume the media that you would like to be featured in. Do you see yourself being interviewed by your local BBC radio station? Then tune in for a few hours to get a feel for the programmes and presenters.
Industrial or financial stories are probably covered by a regular business reporter. Something more consumer or family oriented might be better suited to a mid-morning on-air chat. Whose programme is that?
The chances are, while you’re scrolling away on your smartphone or tablet during your ‘me time’, you will come across the work of journalists who you feel might be interested in your story. Make a note of that person.
Journalists are pleased when the people contacting them are clearly familiar with their work and enthusiastic about it, because so many simply are not.
Find them on social media
Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram are all perfectly acceptable ways to research and contact journalists nowadays. Many, including local reporters, also maintain professional Facebook pages on which they post links to their work.
You cannot send a private message on Twitter to someone who doesn’t follow you, of course, but you can Tweet them directly starting with their @ name, to ask whether they would be interested in your story.
A social media approach can sometimes get a journalist’s attention more effectively than another email in a cluttered inbox – but if they are not interested, the chances are they will simply ignore you rather than risk starting a time-zapping dialogue.
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