With top consumer journalists receiving 100’s of pitch calls and emails a day from PR hungry brands and other PR agencies – the scramble for reputation building editorial has never been fiercer!

As an agency we spend much of our day with the phone glued to our ears, or typing emails to bestow the virtues of client products to magazines, national press and the increasingly more important bloggers.

If like most of our clients, you don’t have the budgets of M&S or John Lewis to stage major press events – then go back to basics with our top tips on approaching the media:-

1. Channel your call or email. Think carefully who you need to speak to – the larger titles have specific editors for interiors, fashion, beauty, features, food, and so on. All the major publishing houses list their titles on their websites so this information is usually available.

2. Consider editorial lead times – this can be up to 4/5 months for the consumer monthly magazines, while the weekly magazines general operate on 3-6 weeks and newspapers and bloggers/digital magazine sites days or even hours! So if you have a Christmas range for example, start thinking about contacting the media from July for maximum exposure.

3. If you are calling the journalist, you have a matter of seconds to interest the journalist – be friendly and clearly state why you are calling ie I have launched a new range of innovative sleep aids which I thought may be of interest to your pages…. Similarly on email – get straight to the point.

4. Press always want the details on email even if you have called them first, and it’s in your interest to put everything in writing so any editorial is fully accurate. Therefore make sure you follow up by emailing a short press release containing the product spec, rrp and stockiest information. And attach a decent product shot – see tip 5.

5. Photography is key to securing decent editorial space – so we recommend to our clients that we/they arrange professionally styled images (a mix of product cut out imagery and also propped i.e. the products set in a lifestyle setting). Jpeg format is generally best with a minimum of 300 dpi. Send just one or two images to the journalist, as otherwise you might get them offside from the very start by filling their inbox with big files.

Good luck – and happy pitching!