How Should I Contact a Journalist?


6 min read

How Should I Contact a Journalist?

Table of Contents

How Should I Contact a Journalist?

To help you understand the most effective ways to contact a journalist, we’ve gathered nine insightful tips from professionals, including CEOs and marketing managers. From using a journalist’s preferred contact method to pitching a compelling story, these experts share their best strategies for successful communication.

  • Use the Journalist’s Preferred Contact Method
  • Engage Through Professional Social Media
  • Craft an Impressive Press Release
  • Prepare a Clear Email Pitch
  • Send a Personalized Email
  • Build a Relationship With the Journalist
  • Leverage Paid-Pitching Websites
  • Establish Partnerships via MuckRack
  • Pitch a Compelling Story

Use the Journalist’s Preferred Contact Method

As a publicist, constantly reaching out to media contacts is part of the job. When there’s a need to send a pitch or a press release to a journalist, a quick internet search for their personal website is usually done.

It’s been found that many journalists have online portfolios with their preferred contact method listed. Taking an extra few minutes to find this information gives confidence that the copy is delivered to the right person.

Jaqui CookJaqui Cook
Owner and Lead Creative Strategist, Know Name Creative

Engage Through Professional Social Media

One of the best ways to contact journalists is through their professional social-media channels. Avoid reaching out on a personal Facebook profile or something similar to prevent causing irritation and abuse of boundaries.

Most journalists use companies like X, Threads, and LinkedIn in a professional capacity, and literally use it as a great tool for easily communicating with experts or businesses. This way, you aren’t overstepping any personal boundaries, just engaging with where they want to be met.

This is a much more successful tool than email because you have far less chance of being lost amongst spam, and ‌the journalist can easily register you as an actual entity and not as some cold caller or spam bot.

Bobby LawsonBobby Lawson
Technology Editor and Publisher, Earth Web

Craft an Impactful Press Release

The best way to contact a journalist and make a lasting impact is through a well-crafted press release. Writing your thoughts and transforming them into a press release can help organize your message effectively.

Ensure your release not only conveys your key message but also provides a compelling editorial story that aligns with your target journalists’ interests.

This approach increases the chances of your press release reaching the right hands and getting published, potentially with a valuable backlink to your website, boosting your SEO and enhancing your brand’s visibility.

Matias RodsevichMatias Rodsevich

Prepare a Clear Email Pitch

Before approaching the journalist of your choice, an individual must be quite clear about the story idea they want the journalist to cover, its relevance, timing, and potential impact on readers.

While preparing the email pitch, showcase your familiarity with the journalist’s work and explain how your idea will add value to their coverage. Let the journalist know how your story falls under their area of expertise, along with the unique elements that set it apart from other articles.

Convey the unique angle concisely, emphasizing the value of your pitch. In the end, be respectful in your follow-up emails, acknowledging their busy schedule. All the above-mentioned tactics will surely increase the chances of getting your story covered.

Faizan KhanFaizan Khan
PR and Content Marketing Specialist, Ubuy UK

Send a Personalized Email

When reaching out to a journalist, go with a friendly and personalized email. This approach worked for me because it shows you respect their busy schedule, and you explain right away why your story fits their interests.

Mentioning their previous work proves you did your homework. Keep the subject catchy, the pitch short, and end with a clear next step. This method helped me get their attention and build good connections.

Oksana SydorchukOksana Sydorchuk
Marketing Manager, Right People Group

Form a Relationship With the Journalist

One of the best ways to contact a journalist is to read much of their published content, so you know their style and what they cover. Then, comment via email about how you enjoy their pieces and how you can serve as a contact and provide information regularly on the changing landscape of the industry they cover.

This is effective because you’re not pitching them; you’re forming a relationship, providing value, and not asking for anything in return. Journalists appreciate that. This works even better if you can facilitate an in-person meeting, often at a conference or event they may be covering.

Robert FoneyRobert Foney
CMO, Healthmetryx , Inc.

Leverage Paid-Pitching Websites

The most effective way to contact a journalist is through a paid-pitching website. This needs to be a paid website to add credibility to the person contacting the journalist. Journalists are very busy, with people sliding into their DMs, sending spam emails, and harassing them for backlinks.

Leveraging pitching platforms allows one to display their credibility through their profile and show that they are serious and worthy of the journalist’s time because they are paying for the service.

Sebastian JaniaSebastian Jania
Owner, Ontario Property Buyers

Establish Partnerships via MuckRack

We have been using MuckRack for some time now, and it’s a great way to establish long-term partnerships with journalists. It’s not just a list of contacts or a directory; it’s a rich platform brimming with information about journalists and the beats they cover.

Let’s say you have a story about an innovative new tech startup. With MuckRack, you can find journalists who genuinely care about tech, startups, or possibly even your specific niche. It’s about finding the right fit because when you do, your news doesn’t just become another email in a journalist’s overflowing inbox. It becomes something they’re genuinely interested in, a story they want to tell.

For us, it’s not about bombarding hundreds of journalists with emails. It’s about engaging the right journalist in a meaningful conversation, and MuckRack is a tool that helped us with that. So, while it’s a fantastic resource, it’s the quality of our communication with them that ultimately makes the difference.

David Rubie-ToddDavid Rubie-Todd
Co-Founder and Marketing Head, Sticker It

Pitch a Compelling Story

Journalism, like any other media field, is centered around getting the biggest impact and attention for particular events. The best way to contact a journalist is to pitch a compelling story to them.

This should be the core of your initial communication with them. Expanding on why the story is so impactful or interesting, and selling them on giving it their (often very limited) time and attention is also important.

If the story has interesting content and applies to other current events, the journalists will state their interest and ask for more. Otherwise, ensure politeness and a positive interaction, even if they say no—another story may be pitched in the future.

Even with politeness and using specialized channels to contact journalists, they might not respond to inquiries, so be prepared for that and don’t overwhelm them with messages if they don’t reply.

Ved MuthusamyVed Muthusamy
Marketing Coordinator, Achievable

Submit Your Answer

Would you like to submit an alternate answer to the question, “What’s the best way to contact a journalist? What makes this approach effective?”

Submit your answer here.

Related Articles

Up Next