Alpha Public Relations | Building your media profile: who you gonna call?
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Identifying key journalists

Building your media profile: who you gonna call?

Our last article explained how to identify the key media outlets with which you can beneficially build a relationship. Now it’s time to look at the people who write for, and edit them.


Identifying the best contacts

Often the best contacts in the media, as in many aspects of business life, will be the people that you meet in a semi-social context, with whom you get on well and organically build a relationship. These moments are, however, likely to be haphazard and few and far between so, for the rest of your target media, you will need to identify and approach the most likely journalists to cover your stories or opinions.

Contact details can normally be found on publications’ websites, or in the print edition (usually close to the front or the back).

Some job titles to look out for include:

Regional and local papers

  • Business editor
  • Deputy business editor
  • Business reporter
  • The reporter assigned to your neighbourhood
  • Property editor
  • News editor
  • Editor

Business/trade/specialist magazines

  • Editor
  • Deputy editor
  • Features editor
  • News editor
  • Section editor (eg personal finance)

It’s not really rocket science but in many cases it will also be fruitful to spend some time looking at who tends to write about what and identifying journalists who have already shown a particular interest in your area.

If this proves inconclusive then aim high – editor or deputy editor on a smaller publication or the appropriate section editor on a title with a large staff. If they aren’t the right people they may well tell you who it is you need to contact, and they will do so with some authority.


News or features?

Think about what it is you have to offer. Are you going to be a better source for news articles or expert comment within features?

The answer to this will tell you whether first to approach a news or features editor, and how to position your approach to journalists whose responsibilities cover both areas of the title’s coverage. Don’t, though, worry about being pigeon-holed here because a good features contact is likely to have his or her news stories looked upon favourably and vice versa.

Next time we will look at the best ways to establish contact, and an ongoing dialogue, with those journalists that make it onto your list. Best of luck in the meantime and do let me know how you get on.

Stuart Anderson