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Essential steps when a reporter says 'yes'

You’ve identified the ingredients for a perfect story, fired off a killer email pitch or picked up the phone and articulated your client’s experience, expertise and angle. The editor or journalist wants to cover the story Result! But where do you go from here? What are the essential steps when a reporter says 'yes'?

Be clear on what the publication needs from you

It may sound obvious, but be sure that your expectations are aligned. You may have thought that you were setting up an interview, while the commissioning editor had a 1,500 word, Harvard referenced, by-lined article in mind. Make sure you’re both on the same page.

Consider the audience

And hang your story off the right hook. Data which shows that average wages are soaring may be welcome news for jobseekers reading a careers column. Not so much for management accountants planning next year’s budgets. Become familiar with the publication you’ve secured the opportunity with. Getting hold of a media pack is the best way to determine reader demographics.

Confirm the details

Make sure you get a wordcount and deadline and ask if there is anything else the editor is expecting you to provide, such as links, a headshot, or author biography.

Stick to the style

Should you write ‘%’ or ‘per cent’ and should ‘government’ have a capital ‘g’? Ask if the publication has a style guide. If it doesn’t, have a look at other pieces the outlet has published to ensure that you’re on the right track.

And finally,

Don’t let them down

If you’ve promised to provide a quote by 16:00 on Thursday, try your damn hardest to make it happen. If, for any reason, you find yourself unable to deliver, let the journalist know as soon as you can.

By providing great content, on time, which needs minimal sub-editing, you’ll maximise your chances of building a strong relationship with the publication – and securing future opportunities.

If you'd like BlueSky PR to help you with those essential steps why not get in touch?

 

CarlyAuthor: Carly Smith

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