Six actions you should take before engaging the media

The benefits of getting media coverage for your organisation or brand are far and wide – coverage can help change awareness, opinions and behavior.

By properly planning ahead you are more likely to build a positive relationship with journalists and generate quality coverage for your organisation now and in the future. With this in mind, we’ve created some simple guidance for you to make sure that you are prepared for press activities. This advice was developed together with a journalist based in Hong Kong on her needs and experiences.

1. Strong Press Release

A press release with a clear and catchy story angle makes it more likely that a journalist will pick up the story. It is important that press releases are short, sharp and to the point – 500 words should suffice, and they should be written in proper English (English media) or Traditional Chinese (for Chinese media), include any key facts, links to images, video and any other relevant collaterals or documents, and include a current media contact and/or PR agency contact (email and mobile number). (we will address press releases and pitching in another guide)

2. Facts and figures

It’s always worth having factsheets and numbers to supply to journalists. These should cover any important statistics and information, and include biographies of relevant people in your organisation especially spokespeople. We also like to prepare a boilerplate – this appears at the end of any of a company’s press releases and concisely describes the company or organisation in a few sentences.

3. High resolution, professional photos

More so now than ever before, press want pictures. Most stories are accompanied by images, if not in the story itself then for posting on social media, so providing a variety of images that are high resolution (for print publications) and professional (not stock images) is essential. Images should be engaging and relevant and should be easily accessible to press, ideally via links that don’t expire over time. Generally, we advise including such links within the press release so media can access them quickly and without need for further follow-up.

4. Access to interviewees/spokespeople

Clients should be prepared to carry out interviews with members of the media who may be keen to explore their products or services in greater detail. Chosen spokespeople should be well versed in the subject matter and available for interview either in person or over the phone soon after a journalist’s request, or prepared to provide comprehensive answers over email in good time to meet journalist deadlines.

5. Rapid response

When journalists choose to pick up a story their editor or publication will have a deadline, which can mean quick responses – either to interview requests or other queries – are required to ensure any stories go ahead. It’s important to be available following the launch of a product or service and to reply to journalists or your PR agency in a timely manner. As a PR agency, we try to get back to our journalist contacts within the same day, or at least by the following morning as we know that most requests come to us with a sense of urgency. News doesn’t wait! Additionally, if you are able to provide the information and quotes or interviews that a journalist requires comprehensively and quickly then it may encourage them to write about you again in the future or to call on you for quotes or opinion on other industry-related matters or topics. It’s always worth building relationships with our journalists.

6. Online presence

When launching a news-worthy product or service, it is important that you have an associated online presence, as journalists will likely turn to Google to further research anything mentioned in the press release. This usually means that any products or services should be live, available and ready to go along with the press release.

If you need any help in this area or have some differing/additional views to add, we would love to hear from you.

About Cred Communications

Cred Communications delivers PR campaigns for a variety of sectors. Our founder, Mandy Queen, has over 20 years’ experience in public relations and worked in-house for FMCG, public bodies and large trade fair organisers Messe Frankfurt and Global Sources in Hong Kong as well as created and promoted consumer events such as the award-winning UK-wide promotion Seafood Week before founding Cred Communications in Hong Kong in 2010.

Get in touch to find out how we might be able to work together:  

Tel: +852 2110 3519


If you enjoyed this article then check out our free eBook on running a low cost on-site press office during your event, festival or trade show. You can download it here.

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