TUESDAY 26 JUN 2018 3:43 PM


Alex Regan, broadcast journalist, BBC

How do you prefer to be contacted by PRs?

It depends on the situation. If it is a slow news cycle and a PR has a considered pitch, then a phone call can be nice. If there’s breaking news and I’m working on a time-sensitive story it’s better to receive an email. Most recently I was working on the UK snow live page and was getting PRs calling me while trying to write about the breaking news – in that situation, emails are better.

What is the best way to receive a story: press release, press conference or over lunch?

Unfortunately, intimate lunches are the preserve of my esteemed colleagues in the paper industry. It is dependent on the circumstance. On embargoed stories a presser is very useful, on a diary story the opportunity to interview someone is very useful.

How do you choose which stories to cover?

More often than not it isn’t down to me. The daily news cycle takes precedent and as general news journalists it’s our job to react to that. Having said that, when pitching stories, I always warm towards stories that have interesting case studies; individuals that the audience/readers can engage with.

What PR habit do you find most irritating or unhelpful?

Not getting back to you. I’ve had a couple of times when I’ve had to chase up PRs on comments that were requested five or six hours ago, to then find out the body or organisation would not be providing
a comment. It’s always courteous to inform people, even if you won’t be providing a comment.

What is the most useful service that PRs can provide?
Good communication. Letting journalists know when to expect a comment is really useful as we can then curb the expectation of editors. Even if the comment may not be coming for a few hours, it is still helpful to know.