WEDNESDAY 26 JUL 2017 2:25 PM


Josie Cox, business editor, the Independent

How long should a PR wait before chasing up on a press release?

A few hours is usually most appropriate. In the morning we tend to be slammed with news so it might take us longer to respond. If a pitch doesn’t work for us and it’s a heavy news day, it’s likely possible that we don’t have time to respond.

What is the best way to receive a story?

Time is of the essence for my team so a short, concise press release is the best way to pitch a story. The best pitches offer an interesting piece of information, backed up by data and commentary where appropriate.

How do you choose which stories to write-up?

A story has to be original, relevant and interesting for our readers. Stories that are too niche or specific won’t generate any traffic. Stories with an obvious news angle are likely to be most suitable for us.

What PR habit do you find most irritating?

We get inundated with calls, emails and pitches every day. Persistent PRs who refuse to take no for an answer when a pitch doesn’t work for us can be frustrating. A personal pet peeve is a pitch that’s not clearly researched and prepared. I’ve been pitched stories that I’ve already published, stories that are not at all relevant to our publication and stories that are outdated. Poorly worded press releases with typos and inaccuracies are also unhelpful.

Do you frequently use PRs for their contacts?

Not really.

What qualities do you most value in PRs?

Excellent communication and organisational skills as well as the ability to deliver to deadline. It’s also incredibly valuable if a PR is easily available and quick to respond to calls or emails.