Mum's the Word

Mum's the Word

Wednesday, 26 September 2012 14:49

How to respond effectively to a media call-out

We all know how beneficial generating media coverage for our business can be. Not only do you gain exposure to new potential customers, it gives you implied credibility and acts as a powerful third-party endorsement.


Though sometimes when you are wearing a hundred and one hats in your business already, finding the time to develop newsworthy angles, write media releases and then send them out can be a little difficult.


Thankfully though, with the help of social media and websites like you can intercept media call-outs from journalists who are looking for sources to input on their story. The angle is already set and the story is being published, all you need to do is put forward your expert opinion or experience.




But you won't be the only person who sees the call-out, so how do you improve your chances of being chosen?


Here are six tips to help you respond to a media call-out effectively and position yourself as a valuable source:


1. Research the media or journalist making the request


Call-outs don’t always include the exact media outlet making the request, though, if it does, or a journalist or news organisation you are following puts out a request, research them further.


What kind of stories do they do? How long are they normally? What is their news focus – do they cover more hard-hitting news or are they more feature and profile based? This information can help you write your response more strategically.


2. Respond as soon as possible


Journalists are on often on tight deadlines so the sooner you respond the better. Normally each call-out will have a date and time they need people to respond by, though some won’t and you can’t always be assured that they will wait until that date to choose a source, so get in quick.


3. Read their request carefully and answer accordingly


Once you have read what they want, write two to three paragraphs of how you could shed light on the topic. It needs to be attention grabbing, so sell yourself but keep the focus on what they want and need. To do this, ask yourself what could you do to help them cover this story well? What could you bring to it that no one else could?


Be as concise as possible without diluting your message, as this too will demonstrate to the journalist your ability to articulate your view quickly and succinctly, something they value in a source.


4. Mention any specific information you could provide


Do you have any industry insights, statistics or background information that could help them with their story? If the answer is yes, tell them what you have without giving it all away, you want them to have a taste but still be intrigued enough to contact you.


5. Build your credibility


Build your credibility and position yourself as a good and reliable source by including your expertise, credentials and length of industry experience. Also mention any other media coverage you have gained if applicable.


6. Include your contact details


Remember to include your landline, mobile, email address and website so they can easily get in contact with you for an interview.


7. Be available


Once again journalists are usually on tight deadlines so make yourself available when they need to interview you. Thank them for their time and let them know that you are available for comment again if they ever need it.


So there you have it, seven tips for creating a more strategic and targeted media call-out response. Do you have any tips that have worked for you?

Amanda Jesnoewski is the owner of Velocity Media + Communications and a copywriter and marketing strategist.


As a mumpreneur with two small children, Amanda juggles an iPhone and a nappy bag, clients and a toddler, a laptop and a baby, telephones and tantrums daily and writes about at her blog Adventures and Misadventures of a Mummypreneur.

Comments (1)

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Thanks Amanda for a great article that sums up what journalists and bloggers are looking for in a response to a call out. Can I please stress the importance of people not only including their contact details (point 6) but getting them right! We regularly have journalists getting in touch with us as they the email address provided bounces back and it's a simple mistake caused by people rushing through their basic information.

Thanks again!
Bec @sourcebottle
Bec Derrington , September 28, 2012
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