Reporter taking notes in a notebook

Responding to a PR Lead

Reporter taking notes in a notebookResponding to PR leads that could give your company great publicity can be an intimidating task. Knowing what reporters look for when choosing a source can help alleviate that stress.

At McDougall Interactive we highly recommend the use of PR to get your company the publicity it deserves, along with Internet marketing, social media and content development. Dan Janal, Founder and CEO of, has provided our clients and us with his service for years. With the help of PRLeads we get only the leads that match our service, which in the long run saves everyone lots of time.

In as little as a day, you too could see a 10 percent success rate by just responding to 10 leads, assuming only one gets chosen. Responding to PR leads only takes a few minutes. Here are a few approaches to get reporters to look your way and see you as a dependable source for their next topic or article.

  • The most important thing to remember is to stand out from the crowd. Everyone else is pitching for the same attention, with very similar credentials. Make sure you offer a unique perspective, but avoid hyping yourself up.
  • It’s the journalists’ job to write the article, not yours. A 3-paragraph response is suggested. Typically including 1-2 tips, and 1-2 sentences in each. Putting time into something longer than that might be considered counterproductive.
  • Chances of reporters noticing you increase if you use their headline as the subject line of your message. Remember this when sending it to a reporters email account. Once they open the message and see the standard 3-paragraph response, their eyes will be drawn to the page because of the white space your paragraphs create. This will improve the readability of your message and make it easier to skim through.
  • Customize each response to reporters by only mentioning the area of expertise being sought after. If you’re no expert in the matter, don’t respond. Quoting other experts or sources will only benefit those that you are quoting.
  • The last step is to sit back and wait. If you don’t get a response in a timely manner, just wait for the next lead, and be sure to respond quickly. It’s easy to be discouraged if you don’t get a response from every message you send, but “if you get 1 in 10, you are doing well – and you’ll have more PR than you know what to do with over the course of a year,” says Dan Janal from in his book “Reporters are Looking for You”.

Good Luck!

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