When you contact the journalist
Do you have a concrete story and want to reach the general public? Get in touch with the media and introduce your story yourself!
You can choose from many channels: online publishing, exclusive contact with one journalist, a guest article or op-ed, a press release or an invitation to an event. We often recommend contacting one journalist rather than giving a tip to many journalists simultaneously. This increases the chances of your story being covered.
What is your main message? Who do you want to reach? What do you want to achieve?
What makes your story relevant at this moment? Can it be linked to a news item or debate that is already on the agenda in the media?
Do you think your story fits best in newspapers, on TV or the radio? Is it of local or national interest? What makes the story interesting for the readers/viewers/listeners of precisely this media outlet?
For a journalist, a good story is often about something new, something that affects many people, involves conflict, breaches norms, or about something that others can easily identify with. Does your story fulfil any of these criteria?
Can you offer insights into the research process? Can you offer someone who can provide a personal angle to the story, good pictures and/or a main point that is framed as a pointed statement? All of these will increase media interest.
Use a simple approach when contacting the journalist. Briefly explain what your story is about, who it impacts and its potential practical consequences. Focus on the most important point.
Have a few key points and facts at the ready to send by email after the telephone conversation. This helps the journalists and may prevent misunderstandings.
Contact one media outlet at the time. If they do not respond within the agreed-upon/reasonable time, you can move on to the next media outlet.
Feel free to contact a communication adviser if you want someone to test your conversation points on before you contact the media.