13th May 2019
12th March 2015 - What journalists want, and how they want it
Very few media outlets have the time to spell out what they want and how they want it to PRs and other organisations.
It’s an unwritten rule that good PR people should do their homework on each and every media outlet they are targeting.
The story about the junior PR who rang the Daily Star and asked to speak to the religious affairs reporter has become enshrined in PR folklore. If you don’t get why that’s so funny, then the rest of this article probably isn’t for you.
Knowing the media landscape helps PRs to determine whether a story is relevant, of interest and, crucially, where within a publication it would be most appropriate to appear.
So when a media outlet proactively gives out its editorial guidelines, you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth – not because of the contents but because they affirm the rationale of why good PRs do what we do.
I’ve got to commend The Wall for making its editorial guidelines freely available because they spell out what they want and how they want it. Get it right and they’ll love you. Get it wrong and, frankly, you don’t deserve to get your story used.
THREE TOP TIPS
It’s not my place to publish the full list of things, but I’ve cherry-picked a few gems:
- Companies and organisations are singular, not plural. Pretty please do not refer to Facebook as ‘they’.
- Please only CAPITALISE proper nouns. Only use a capital letter at the start of your headline (not for every word) and note we do not cap up job titles.
- Please avoid American spellings.
These simple tips spell out exactly what The Wall wants. And guess what? They’re commonplace amongst most media, so knowing these three pearls of wisdom will help any organisation to ingratiate themselves with their target media.
If that was helpful, then you’ll love the bonus tip below – although I think they’ve put it very politely, to say the least.
A BONUS TIP
“Things we’re not so keen on: vague ideas, old news, self-promotion or long articles that make our eyes hurt.”
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