Why You Should Make Media Contact Info Easy to Find
If it seems to take a long time or -- the worst case outcome -- they can't find any useful media contact information then you have a problem. Yet this is a problem that is surprisingly common, even for businesses and organizations that should know better.
When someone just has to write about your company or whatever they have to try through other channels -- sometimes I have resorted to asking through Twitter or Facebook -- but very often they just need to talk to someone in your business. If your media contact information is missing or hidden they just ask someone else and you miss the opportunity.
It also matters how you provide contact information. What most journalists are looking for is an email address and a phone number for those urgent requests where only a phone call will be fast enough. And the email has to be an email address that someone is watching. Far too often messages are answered only when the article is already published and the request is moot.
Ideally what journalists would like to have is an immediate confirmation that someone has received the email and that they are working on it. This is also a good time to clarify the deadline. If there isn't going to be a response to the questions for some reason then it's useful to have a brief "Sorry, no." message. After you have promised to send a response make sure you do it on time. Better a poorer response on time than a perfect one that is too late.
Avoid using web forms because they are unreliable and very often people faced with no choice but a webform will just go elsewhere. The problem with webforms is that you don't know what is happening, where the messages go and if anyone will ever see your questions before it's too late. With an email address you at least know if it was delivered, even if the account is monitored by different people.
Sometime social media can also be a great way to get a fast response, but the problem with using social media is the uncertainty. There are companies that monitor their social media accounts very carefully and respond in minutes to a Twitter inquiry. But there are also some companies that seem to have a one-way approach to social media, posting scheduled content and ignoring responses. That's why people often prefer trying email first. Make sure it works and make sure that people can find it quickly!
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