Today, an increasing amount of media relations is handled through email correspondence. Pitches are made by email; emails are used for follow up purposes; and in some cases, email is even used for interviews and giving quotes to reporters.
On the surface, email correspondence for dealing with the media seems like a great idea. You have time to perfectly tailor your responses, ensuring no mistakes are made, and email is just convenient. It can be much easier than trying to find the time for a phone conversation with a busy reporter. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about being misquoted because everything is right there on the screen in black and white.
But there are also some serious drawbacks to answering the reporter’s questions by email.
What are your thoughts on the topic? Do you handle interviews by email?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (https://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: https://www.ereleases.com/free-offer/pr-checklist/
Hi, Mickie. Thanks for your article – your points are dead-on! I’m noticing that an increasing number of journalists are insisting on email interviews. As a result, clients and their PR reps are faced with not responding to media queries that stipulate Email interviews only, or dealing with the lackluster results that may not benefit the source.
I would love to hear from you, and from SMEs, other agencies or PR pros on how you’re dealing with this situation. Thanks! @RuthADanielson
Thanks Mickie for the post. When I managed media relations I tended to respond through the channel the reporter used to contact me. I often dealt with foreign reporters so email could be useful if English wasn’t their first language. Nevertheless as a general rule I preferred phone or face to face for the reasons you state. I also think dealing with a journalist by email or through fax (yes we faxed then too!) indirectly said ‘we don’t really want to be open with the media’, which wasn’t the signal we wished to send. Interesting too, a few times we used email the reporter wrote in his/her copy ‘in a written statement xx said….’ which of course can imply an organization has something to feel awkward about.