Media Moves

The best way to contact reporters

March 20, 2020

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

ICR, a strategic communications firm, interviewed 93 local and national reporters on how they preferred to be contacted.

Reporters could choose more than one option from the following methods:

  • Phone;
  • Email;
  • Text;
  • Social Media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and such); and
  • Reporter Platforms (Qwoted, HARO, ProfNet and more).

Of the 93 reporters surveyed, 100 percent preferred to be contacted via email be it for a pitch, scheduling a meeting, getting further insight into a story or asking for a correction.

This was followed closely by 18 percent of the reporters stating that they are increasingly engaging via social media as well. As account director Matthew Chudoba writes, “Eighteen percent of respondents confirmed they would be open to a PR professional reaching out to them via social media; however, this comes with a caveat.

“Reporters are much more likely to use their social media accounts for personal use, so PR professionals should carefully vet how a reporter is utilizing his/her social accounts before reaching out. Reporters consider it highly intrusive and a violation of their personal space if they receive a message about a story idea through social media if they aren’t using these accounts for business reasons.”

Apart from texting and reporter platforms, phone calls were seem to be the least likely method of contact preferred.

“While text messaging is now society’s most popular form of daily communication, when it comes to texting reporters, it’s best to refrain. Some respondents stated that they can tolerate a text message if a potential source cancels at the last minute. Even in instances of breaking news, email is still the preferred method to get a reporter’s attention,” Chudoba concluded.

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