MEET THE MEDIA: LAURA BARNES
Laura Barnes, editor of tech retail magazine, PCR
How do you prefer to be contacted by PRs?
For me, email is usually best. That way I can see the full press release from the start and view any images and links relating to the story. While it’s nice to have a chat to people on the phone, it can be difficult to remember exactly what the content of their press release is as the day goes on and they will then have to send it over via email anyway. I’m all about making things as quick as possible for both sides!
How long should a PR wait before chasing up on a press release?
It’s fine to chase up after 24 hours over email if it’s something timely that they need a response for, or a call every now and then just to make sure I’ve seen it. I may not get around to responding to every email that lands in my inbox, so having a fresh reminder at the top of my emails is always handy for getting noticed.
How do you choose which stories to write?
For my publications, PCR, we run news online for the UK tech retail industry, so whichever stories are the most relevant to that will get first dibs. Any story that has easy to access additional material, links and images helps us save time when writing them up, so they will always be favourable.
What PR habit do you find most irritating/unhelpful?
Sometimes we will receive a really great press release but it has no accompanying image, logo or headshot. Sometimes a PR will say ‘contact me for an image,’ sometimes they don’t. This adds in an extra step in the process for getting your news online! It would be much more helpful to have an attached image or a link to downloadable images.
Do you think strong, ongoing relationships with PRs are helpful?
Definitely. When putting a magazine together or getting content online, a number of bumps in the road can occur and it’s always helpful to know there are eager PRs out there that are happy to jump on an opportunity and find replacements. Aside from that, I have a few great PRs that send over surveys and reports and dig out all the most important stats from them for our audience. Those people are saints!