10 things journalists are always asking us for

First thing’s first – let’s kick start this article with a little numbers-for-scale: at the time of writing, there are about 2,000 fashion, interiors & beauty media professionals using Flaunter…and our content team speak to a lot of them on the regular.

If you aren’t familiar with Flaunter, our content library is a little bit of a middle ground between brands/PRs and media.  This means we’ve been privy to some very honest feedback and pain points media are feeling as they go about building out their next story, and the consistency in the questions we’re asked is astounding.  

To help you sharpen your PR-game, our media team put their heads together to create this list of the 10 things the media are always asking for…

 

MEDIA ALWAYS ASK US FOR… ALL THE INFORMATION THEY’LL NEED IN ONE GO

Although this blog-writer has never worked as a journalist, I have spent a good amount of time helping them put their market pages and gallery edits together.  

Pulling off one of these bad boys with a one-hour turnaround is kind of like playing Tetris on Level 30, but instead of just stacking the blocks neatly, you’re also trying to make all the colours match and make sure you don’t use the same blocks you did last time… Is it any wonder journalists are so often begging for the price & stockist details to be included at the same time as the hi-res image?

Back in the olden-days, PR reps would withhold a couple of key details (like the price) when they sent images over to journalists, in the hope the inevitable follow up would be a way to connect and chat with them about future stories.  This little trick isn’t lost on journalists at all, and these days, we’d only recommend doing it if you’d like your next piece of coverage to be your last.

Media need all the details

MEDIA ALWAYS ASK US FOR… USABLE HI-RES FILES

Ever stood in line for ages at a sushi restaurant with your eye on the last salmon bento box, only for the person in front of you snaffle it? That’s kind of how it feels when a journalist discovers a product they’d love to feature, only to discover that the images are only available low-res, even online, a low-res/72dpi image just isn’t good enough quality to be published these days.  Make sure the images your photographer provides you are 300 dpi files to make sure they can be published.

On the other side of the coin, make sure you have easily usable assets.  We find most media prefer to work with hi-res .jpg files around 1-2MB in size.  While 40 MB .tiff files might be 1000dpi, they’re just not practical for journalists to move around on their computers or between team members in their offices.

MEDIA ALWAYS ASK US… TO CHASE A BRAND ON THEIR BEHALF

We know you’re busy, we know PR isn’t the be all and end all of your day… but at Flaunter HQ, we’re regularly (too regularly) called because a brand hasn’t replied to a message or phone call from a journalist for a number of days.

Don’t get us wrong, having your Flaunter profile set up properly means the answers to 90% of the questions a journalist would need to ask you are right there for the taking, but this doesn’t mean they don’t still reach out for specific things like expert comments or interview requests. That’s right – the kind of coverage you really don’t want to miss.  Usually, by the time they receive a response a day or two later, they’ve already sent their story to print… with a competitor in place.

So if you have a pr@[brand].com email address…make sure you’re checking it daily, and calling back those mysterious-number missed calls on your phone.  You never know when an opportunity is knocking.

MEDIA ALWAYS ASK US FOR… AN IDEA OF IN-STORE DATES

Media love a product that is fresh in-store at the same time their magazine (or online article) gets in front of their readers.  Why? Because it’s more likely to be new in their eyes…and it’s more likely to still be in stock (long-time readers of the Flaunter blog will know how much we mention journalists HATE publishing a product and finding out it’s sold out!).

in-store-date

MEDIA ALWAYS ASK US FOR… PRODUCTS THAT AREN’T AVAILABLE IN-STORE YET

We know with a fair degree of confidence that a monthly magazine has a 3-month lead time (or even longer for special editions) and an online publication can have a story on their site within an hour of downloading a shot from our library (which is some high-speed operating!)  Because journalists are keen for a lot of the product they publish to be new-in-store at the time of a story hits their readers, having access to what’s next from your brand, not just what’s new, really helps with their processes.  If you have a product shot, an RRP and an idea of when your product is hitting the shelves, it’s time to get those images loaded onto your Flaunter account.  The earlier they’re there, the bigger the scope of journalists who can actually showcase your brand.

MEDIA ALWAYS ASK US FOR… PICTURES THAT REFLECT TRENDS AT RECENT INDUSTRY EVENTS

Remember when Gucci did coloured loafers for SS16 and ever since then, every second person you pass on the street is rocking a pair? (I’m wearing some right now). Media are hunting for the next loafer, and they want to tell their readers about it first.  

Because there’s possibly nothing more subjective than interpreting the best trends hiding within a new fashion collection, media are often super keen to hear about what pieces, colours and looks are likely to be seen long after the models and crew have packed up and gone home after the show.  As a brand, you’re not just a spectator here, you’re a taste maker and an authority.  Speak about your collections in terms of trends seen on the catwalk (or at the Milan Design Fair…) and show just how ahead of the curve you are.

MEDIA ALWAYS ASK US FOR… WHAT CELEBRITIES ARE WEARING & DOING

Sick of feeling like every magazine is sharing the latest outfit worn by Kim/Kylie/Kendall and Kumquat Kardashian? (Admittedly, I’m not 100% confident I know their names). Word from our media network is that readers love a celebrity outfit post or ‘celeb inspired’ home styling page – in fact, they can be amongst their most popular stories.  This means they’re always keen to hear from you about pieces worn by celebrities (or pieces in that style). Think models off duty or interior design inspired by an A-lister’s incredible New York bachelor pad….

Montana-Cox-and-Georgia-Fowler

MEDIA ALWAYS ASK US FOR… THE ‘OTHER TYPE’ OF IMAGE (THE DEEP ETCH OR CAMPAIGN) 

Brands – we hear you. Photo shoots are expensive…but when you’ve only shot your products one way for the season, the following conversation is almost guaranteed at Flaunter HQ:

Journalist: “Hey Flaunter, that new product from Cool Brand™ would be perfect for a story I’m working on. Do you know if they have deep etch version coming?

Us: “We’ve just checked with the brand, but they’ve only done campaign this season, could we help suggest another option from the campaign shots that could work?”

Journalist: “Sorry! I really need deep etch for this, what do you have similar from other brands?”

Us: *Sheds silent tear for Cool Brand™*

So next time you’re deciding on the shoots you’re going to spend on, don’t forget about the dollars you have yet to make with awesome PR. On Flaunter, our most downloaded images are almost always:

  1. Deep etch/flat lay
  2. Campaign/in-situ

MEDIA ALWAYS ASK US… HOW ONE BRAND COMPARES TO WHAT ELSE IS OUT THERE

Brands who use Flaunter would attest how much they love receiving the list of search terms media have been looking for most frequently each week on the site, because it allows them to upload relevant content to their profile, pivot their upcoming social calendars and even sell to retailers based on what their customers will be seeing everywhere in a month or two’s time.

You might not be surprised to hear that media are interested in exactly the same thing… except that they want to know what’s happening with brands across the board.  Does your collection of subdued timber furniture fit with the seemingly never-ending scandi homewares trend, or is your brand just totally not about that life? Whether you’re on trend, or standing alone, it doesn’t matter, but understanding where you fit in the market does. Especially when it comes to helping journalists see your brand in the same terms as they’ll be searching for it.

MEDIA ALWAYS ASK US FOR… THEIR NEXT STORY IDEA

Ok, ok, so media never actually ask “Hey Flaunter, what should I write about next?” But they do often mention to us that the sheer volume of content they produce these days makes it harder than ever to spend time scouring their sources for the next great scoop.

Brands – your opportunity to shine is now.  Access to a pre-packaged trend report or celebrity style story or industry scoop featuring pieces from your brand is always greatly appreciated by journalists. Bonus points if you can provide them exclusive access to the story.

 

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Images: Unknown via Pinterest [banner], Jaz King & Bart Jaillet via Unsplash, Montana Cox & Georgia Fowler at MBFWA17 by Tim Da-Rin.