Press enquiries are sent by journalists, bloggers and influencers to brands, in order to help them with their articles. If brands are relevant to the theme and wish to be involved in the article, they can pitch their product or brand to the journalist using the contact information provided in the alert.
What is a press inquiry?
When a journalist submits a request, most of the time they’ll look for:
- Product images matching a particular theme/trend/gift guide
- Information or expert tips on a specific topic
- Products or samples for a review
- Products for a shoot
Responding to leads from journalists can be daunting and there are so many different ways you can respond to journalists.
Today, we have six tips for responding to press inquiries so that you can PR like a pro!
How to Respond to a Press Inquiry Properly
- Read the request carefully
It seems very obvious, but the first thing to do is to read the request carefully. Make sure to read it a few times to understand exactly what the journalist is after. If you can think of any products in your shop that would fit that’s great!
If you see that the request is not relevant to your business, then don’t reply as this will only just annoy the journalists. You want to keep a good relationship with the journalists, so reading the request and responding exactly the way they ask is vital.
This might be the most obvious tip, but we see time and time again brands trying to pitch products that are not matching the brief completely. If the journalist is looking for office chairs, don’t send tables, this will only clog up their inbox and frustrate them and you might also compromise your chances of being featured as they will be less likely to then open your emails in the future.
When reading the request, make sure you know:
- What kind of images the journalist needs
- If the images need to be low-res or high-res
- What the deadline is
- Do your research
Sometimes you might not know what publications the journalists are working for. In that case, do a bit of research online about the publication or the blog and check what has been featured before to give you an idea of the style and if there is potential for your products. For example, Good Homes Magazine (1) does a Christmas Gift Guide every year, they categorise these into different subjects for their audience. This means that you will know ahead of time that Good Homes will be working on a Christmas Gift Guide and if you think your products fit into this, then it is worth doing some research.
- Respond quickly
It is the same with many things, first come first served, the early bird catches the worm and so on. Journalists are more likely to file your products for consideration if you send them within three hours of the lead getting sent. If you send a product that another brand has the same of and they send theirs an hour later than yours, you are more likely to have already been chosen before them.
- Sending the images
If you do have images that match with the journalists request, then sending relevant images is important. Make sure you only send up to five relevant images maximum. Sometimes journalists ask for low-res images and sometimes they ask for high-res straight off the bat. Make sure you listen to them and send accordingly.
- Body of the email
The email that you send is important. Make sure you let the journalist know what images you have attached and if they are low-res or high-res. Don’t forget to add any extra product information that is vital for the journalist to know. Above all, make sure the email is short, snappy and easy for the journalist to read. Don’t go off topic, stick to the brief and make sure you are friendly. Finish off the email by asking if there is anything else they are working on that you could help with, this means that you may find that opportunity for another lead!
- Don’t follow up
As tempting as it is to know if your products made the cut or not, don’t follow up with the journalist. They are very busy and will find it annoying if you ask them if you have been featured or not. Some of the time journalists submit the products to the editor, so they may not even know if your product made the cut. So sit patiently and wait for the magazine/ newspaper/ online release date!
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