For many clients, we act as their press office, so when a journalist wants a sample, a photo, or a quote from someone in the company, they come straight to us to sort it out.
As your agency and dedicated press office, it’s then down to us to deliver what they’ve asked for to the deadline they’ve given us.
Sometimes journalists simply drop us a line for a high-resolution image. Other times it could be for a product sample for a shoot, a taste test or an item to review.
We also get asked for comments when an issue is relevant to a client or the sector they operate in.
We’ve run a press office facility for our clients for years and have had some big successes. We’ve had clients on the BBC Breakfast sofa and Sky News, plus comment and product in all the big nationals and consumer magazines.
One of our most successful was with LSM (London School of Marketing) who became the go-to experts for anything marketing related thanks to our campaign.
Here’s the Motive guide to running an efficient press office:
1. Be responsive
When a journalist calls or emails with a request, respond straight away. Sometimes this can just be to acknowledge the request and let them know you’re working on it.
2. Meet the deadline
Always check the deadline – and if it’s unrealistic then let the journalist know you may not be able to turn it around. It’s better to be honest from the outset, rather than let them down at the last minute. If you can meet the deadline, then make sure you do with time to spare.
3. Ask questions
Ask relevant questions to make sure you deliver what the journalist is looking for. The questions will vary depending on the request but here’s a few examples:
- Food & Drink PR – does the piece you’re working on have a theme? If the theme is vegan, there’s no point sending meat-based. How many samples do you need? Any dietary requirements/allergies we need to be aware of?
- Fashion – what size do you need? What colour? Any special requirements we should be aware of?
- Comment for a feature – what’s the feature about? Who else will you be including? How many words are you looking for?
For a product-based client, make sure you have a product bank of images – that way you can respond and sort a press office enquiry quickly. For B2B and corporate campaigns, have images on file of the key spokespeople and senior management should you need them.
If you’re arranging to have something delivered, confirm the address it needs to be sent to and any special delivery instructions. Chances are the company making the delivery will be external so may not treat this with as much care as you’d like. Do everything you can to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.
6. Providing a quote
If a journalist contacts you wanting a quote from your client, make sure you find out what they want, how long it needs to be and the deadline they’re working to. Be clear on who you quote from the clients’ business, get their input and make sure you get the quote signed off. Sign off is vital even if you and the journalist are working to a very tight deadline.
7. Follow up
Some press office enquiries will be turned around and appear within hours. Others can take months. Make sure you follow up and get the best possible outcome for your client.
8. Keep in touch
Once you have those contacts you’ve made through running an efficient press office, go back to them. Thank them for the piece when it appears and offer your client or their product out for other opportunities.
If you need help to set up or run your press office, drop us a line here.
© Motive 2020.