TFB 058: How a Guardian journalist decides if they’ll write about your business

On today’s show, I have the brilliant Guardian journalist Emma Sheppard.

Emma has written for a wide range of media throughout her career and has spent the last few years covering the small business and startup world for The Guardian Business to Business section.

If anyone has the inside track on what it takes to get your business in the national media it’s Emma!

From a company using tech to revolutionise funeral services to the home coworking movement, Emma has seen it all.

Emma tells me why she loves businesses who do their own PR and her favourite feature story examples.

There’s her ‘3 email rule’ for pitching  – which you don’t want to fall foul of – and her advice on how to stand out from the 200 emails she receives a day as a Guardian journalist.

If you’re a small business wondering how to write a press release that will get noticed by a journalist this is a must listen. As Emma explains getting media coverage really isn’t that hard if you understand the rules of the newsroom.

And her top tip? Help her do her job by providing case studies that the media love.

Passion is not news…

Don’t just expect the media to write about you because you are passionate about your business. That’s a great start but passion is not a news story and Emma explains the crucial difference.

If you’ve ever felt exasperated that the media never return any of your email pitches, that you feel like you’re yelling into a PR abyss then this is the show for you. And if you follow Emma’s advice your PR success is guaranteed.

Enjoy this chat with Emma – the Guardian journalist who has a ‘breath test’ (you’ll soon see!) for a good news story.


About Alistair Clay

Alistair is a former national journalist with 20 years’ experience working in the media and PR. He is the founder of UK healthcare agency Arc Seven Communications and a registered member of the PRCA.

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