How to... Contact a Journalist

A good relationship with the press is absolutely key for PR, without this your story will never see the light of day but how do you cultivate one of these elusive, sacred relationships? Journalists are absolutely inundated every day by 100s of emails, calls (mobile and office), direct tweets, old fashioned post and people turning up at their offices armed with product for them to try. On top of this barrage of communication on all fronts, journalists still need time to research and write their articles. So how do we get through all this noise and make ourselves heard without becoming a nuisance and being ‘ghosted’?

1. Journalists are human too

- Don’t send them blanket emails, don’t just BCC your pitch out with a generic ‘Hi’ or ‘Good Morning’ as it will end up unopened in the trash – they’ll know that you’ve sent it out to the world and its dog

- Take the time to read their articles before sending them information on your product/brand/service/story to ensure that it is suitable and refer back to one of their articles so they know that you’ve bothered to do your research

2. The early pitch catches the coverage

- Email journalists earlier in the week and in the morning because fewer journalists work on the weekend and your email should appear in their inboxes when they’re planning out their work for the week

3. Know Thy Journalist

- Going back to ‘journalists are human’, they all have their own preferred style or method of communication. Some will never respond to emails, others will only reply to emails and never take calls, some like that personal touch and can spare five minutes for you to see them face to face, others use twitter to get their stories. Unfortunately there’s no shortcut to this – you just have to learn and remember. We make a point of finding out from our journalists and here’s a peek at some of their bugbears and preferences...

We’ve spent years cultivating our relationships with journalists and have worked hard to make sure that we know them well enough to pitch the right stories to them at the right time with the assets they like best. This has paid off, not only do we get stories placed in the most coveted titles but they even like us! You can see what some journalists say about Sunny Bird PR here...

4. Keep your eyes peeled

- If a journalist says they’re going to run with your story, politely ask for an expected date so you can keep an eye out for your coverage – no one wants to go through steps 1-3 and then miss the coverage after all that hard work!

- If it’s a hard copy, make sure you get a copy when it does come out, hell, get two or three copies

- If it’s online, save it down so you always have a copy in case they take it down in the future

- Share it far and wide on all your social platforms – make sure it’s well presented if it’s a scan or an accessible link if it’s online

5. Remember your manners

- Say thank you!

- Send a handwritten, personalised card and some chocolate (that’s what we do) to the lovely journalist that featured you – if you keep them sweet they might even feature you again :) 

We hope this blog post has been useful and will fill you with confidence next time you’re approaching the press. We appreciate that it’s incredibly time intensive and there’s no short cut to creating these relationships. If you would like to get your story into the press but don’t have that much time on your hands feel free to give us a call on 01202 293095 or drop us a line at

Sunny Bird PR’s Top 10 from 2016

2016 was an incredible year for Sunny Bird PR. Not only did we rebrand but we raised the bar when it came to achieving brilliant PR results for our clients. 2017 is set to be a fantastic year and we are already off to a flying start. We thought we’d share with you our top 10 from 2016 and we also have some very exciting news to share, read on to the end to find out!

In the words of Craig David: “re-re-wind…”

1)      We turned three years old and the PR team expanded. We gained Louise (Head of Strategy), Lizzie (Account Manager), Sian (Account Executive), Natalie Brown (Senior Journalist & PR Consultant), Katy (Well-being Officer and PT) and we are no longer an all-female office as we gained a man in the shape of Darren (Head Designer). Find out more about the new staff here. To celebrate our third birthday, the team threw themselves off of Bournemouth Pier! But don’t panic, as we had secure harnesses and hard hats.  We spent a sunny, summer day zooming down a high speed zip wire. Trust me; it’s scarier than it looks. Take a look at our Instagram here to see Lucy flying through the air.

2)      This year saw us move offices. We now have an amazing, spacious office that is just five minutes away from the beach. Brighter, bigger and better with lots of room for growth – our office embodies the Sunny Bird PR brand with bright colours and stand-out branding. Located in the centre of town, we love being here and welcome visitors so do feel free to pop in for a chat.



3)      We had a makeover. Not only did we spread our PR wings and grow from Little Bird PR into Sunny Bird PR but we now have some great signage, personalised business cards (chosen by the team) and a brand new sparkly website. Make sure you check it out here.


4)      Lights, camera, action! From promotional videos for hair brand Regrowz, ‘a day in the life of a cataracts sufferer’ for Ramsay Health Care UK and sourcing the nation’s best fatherly advice for thortful. Not only did we get the opportunity to script write, direct and produce some great video content, but we secured some brilliant PR coverage on the back of it too.

5)      We did numerous presentations and events last year including ‘how to do PR on a shoestring budget’ for the Grocery Accelerator Scheme and what ‘national press are looking for’ for our client Ramsay Health Care UK PR and Marketing teams. We organised a successful seminar for Greenwood Campbell by inviting key, local businesses, booking inspirational speakers and creating important networking time which won Greenwood Campbell fantastic new business as a result.

6)      At Sunny Bird PR our relationships with journalists are paramount. Last year we amassed over 150 one to one media meetings to introduce press to our brilliant clients. 

7)      Conker Spirit mingled with the stars! We organised for Conker Spirit to sponsor the ‘Q Hero Award’ at the official Q Music Awards in London! Conker Spirit had free sponsorship of the high profile event and it was the ONLY gin at the ceremony as well as the VIP after-party. This partnership also achieved over 160 pieces of coverage for our favourite gin!

8)      We smashed it out the park with countless national newspaper exclusives for our clients last year. From an undercover investigation at a pre-school for Naturelly to a Facebook social experiment on teeth and dating for Brighton Implant Clinic. We created some brilliant headlines for our clients. Check out some of our work here.

9)      In 2016 we introduced two, new weekly activities for staff. Jacket Potato Wednesdays enable us to catch up as a team whilst indulging in some beans, cheese or caviar (if you are Lucy). On Thursday’s we burn off the potato from the day before with a high impact boxing class. A team that trains together stays together!

10)      December was the icing on the cake for us here at Sunny Bird PR. Our website launched, we held an amazing Christmas party, Rian got engaged and Sunny announced her pregnancy! 2017 is set to be an eventful and successful year and we can’t wait to meet baby Bird in May.

Thanks to everyone for supporting us from Little Bird PR through to Sunny Bird PR.

(and thanks for making it to the end of this blog post – we know who you are and we will reward you when you least expect it!)

PS. If you haven't already, please like us on social to keep up-to-date with our latest adventures :)