MEET THE MEDIA: AMY ASHENDEN
Amy Ashenden, video editor, PinkNews
How has social media changed your work with PR agencies?
Occasionally I’ll tweet out a journo request or ask PRs to get in touch with stories, which usually always leads to a few extra emails in my inbox – sometimes this helps build great contacts, but often stories aren’t relevant at all to where I’m working.
What social media platform is most valuable professionally? Why?
I love Twitter, it’s essential for journalism. Many times it’s helped me find people, connect, and collaborate on some really exciting content. Instagram is becoming increasingly helpful as well but Twitter tends to be a bit more professional, which I like. For example, an activist might be big on Instagram but PRs and organisations have much more of a presence on Twitter. LinkedIn is a good way to connect professionally too.
What key components in a press release do you look for?
Three things: video content, relevance to the audience I’m working for, and exclusivity. If I can’t immediately see
that the PR has thought about either the audience I need to cater for (i.e. the LGBTQ+ community for PinkNews) or thought about video, then it’s harder for me to set aside time to read the email or give feedback. A big struggle is the lack of PRs informed on LGBTQ+ issues, and therefore they’re pitching stories while remaining completely in the dark about LGBTQ+ audiences. A little bit of research can go a long way.
How can a press release catch your attention?
The PR agencies that I work more closely with are ones who note that I’m a video journalist serving a LGBTQ+ audience – so they’ll bring me a story that will resonate with our audience, or a story that resonates with opportunity for me to film a video, or provide video content for PinkNews. Even if the story is not strictly LGBTQ+, offering video content I can use will always catch my eye.