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Contacting the media

To make the most of the opportunities that may arise with the release of an announcement to the press, it's worth seeing your release through a journalist's eyes.

Most importantly, it's worth remembering that whilst your press release represents a major event in the life of your business, it's just one of many releases that hit a journalist's inbox day after day. It's quite common for a successful journalist to receive 150 or more per day (and, let's face it, it's the successful ones we want to appeal to most), so you have to accept that your announcement may not be the most important thing on his or her mind.

The journalist is looking for a good story, a story that will interest the writer, the readers and the editor. In producing and issuing a press release for you, Press Dispensary is most successful when it can provide a good, timely story (see our tips on when to issue a release) to a journalist who is inclined to listen.

Thereafter, no matter how much you may be itching to draw journalists to your point of view, you have to trust their professional judgement if you want their cooperation and favourable reporting. Never phone to ask "did you receive my press release". They almost universally disapprove: if they want to cover your story, they'll call you. If they do make preliminary contact, don't badger them. And if they ask for more details, photos or logos, cooperate and work to their timescales. They have deadlines and if you jeopardise those deadlines, they'll simply drop your story.

Be prepared to provide photos of the subject of your announcement and the people involved. If it's a new product, have a selection of portrait and landscape product shots to hand, together with company or brand logos. If you quote your CEO or an expert on your team, have photos of the speakers available. And be prepared to send them by email. Press Dispensary will soon be launching our online Press Packs which will streamline this process by making your photos and logos always available to the press in the correct format.

Finally, make sure you keep a record of which journalists and publications followed up your release. You may have found an ally for the future.

How to write a press release
When to send a press release
Contacting the media

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