I’ve been working in the UAE media for two years now and there are some really simple ways you can get a journalist’s attention and get your profile/event/company/promotions noticed within media outlets. I’m not guaranteeing anything, but these are ways you can make yourself more accessible.
1. Have a website
Even if it’s a Facebook page. Not your personal one, a proper one that we can ‘like’. I use Facebook to source so much information – events, trends, businesses, story ideas. But if you don’t even have a Facebook page, how can I find you and find out more? A lot of musicians and DJs in the UAE only have their personal ones and I’m not about to friend you just to get information on your next gig. Just have the page and post your upcoming events, I’ll like you page and check it for information. Same goes for events. Put them on Facebook as an event – that way I can see when they’re coming up.
2. Contact journalists
It’s easy. My email is my first name@the publication I work for. It’s in the paper.
Every publication has journalists’ email addresses somewhere within its pages. Tell me if you’re having an event! I want to know, I really do. I have to pitch a huge amount of ideas to my boss, so I’m always looking for fun things to report on. Email me, so I know it’s happening – at the very least, I’ll tweet about it but it’s usually a lot more than that. I’m nice, I want to help you, because you will effectively help me.
3. Have quality images available
No print publication has the luxury to send photographers out to every little story we write. And we love images, we love good quality, high resolution images we can use for publication. If I’m against the clock and have to choose between stories, I’ll pick the one that has the stronger images.
4. Give us notice
Phone calls asking me to include your super cool party that is on tomorrow night? Sorry, there’s not much I can do with that little notice. Even if you only let journos know that it is happening, and not the details, a few weeks before, you’ll get more traction as it’s on our radar. ‘I’m holding an event with stuff, and I don’t know the place but it will include a local designer’ is enough for me to want to know more. I just need to know it’s happening and when for a starting point. Then we can work out together how to proceed.
5. Remind us
Okay, I’m no where near the higher runs of editorial rankings and I alone get a few hundred emails a day. I will flag the interesting ones, but I forget things. I forget things because so much happens in a day, and I have so many things I’m juggling. Just drop me a line if I don’t respond and I’ll update you on what’s happening.
6. Get back to us
There will be times when I’m on deadline and a story falls through. This is where my favourite contacts have shone. I may call someone and ask for information and an interview within an hour to include in tomorrow’s issue. In this case, it’s urgent and the one who I know will get back to me quickest is the one I will approach first. If I have all the information sitting in my inbox, it might just come to it, that I use that at the last minute.
Journalists are nice, we really are. We love forming good relationships with our contacts because if you scratch our backs, we will scratch yours. I’ve never minded people pitching me story ideas on their businesses – it’s all about the more ideas the better!
We need you to help produce our stories, calendars and content, and we in turn will do our best to give you coverage!
Got a story? Email me/Tweet me @Cait_12.