ResponseSource Blog

Five ways journalists use ResponseSource you’ve probably not heard of

By Daryl Willcox

11th April 2016

Category: How to...

Journalists primarily use the ResponseSource Journalist Enquiry Service to request information for articles, identify spokespeople and find case studies and products for review. It’s a great way to speed up research, reach new contacts and make more time for interviewing and writing. But it can also be used in other ways that perhaps you’ve not thought of. Here are five that popped into my head, I am sure there are more.

Seeking story ideas

If you’re a commissioning editor, an established freelance looking for ideas to pitch or a features writer with a section to fill, sometimes inspiration for specific subject matter can be elusive. A broad request on ResponseSource asking PRs to suggest fresh angles on a topic or new takes on an old subject could elicit useful ideas and give you a starting point for research at the same time. PRs will probably try to set the agenda but of course as a skilled journalist you can filter out the valid ideas.

Requesting photos or video

Digital content always needs a picture and video content can help lure traffic in, but it’s not always easy getting hold of such material. Try requesting input from the PR community with ResponseSource and you may be pleasantly surprised at the visual content available. Some of it may be a bit commercial but a bit of deft editing can go a long way.

Announcing a change of job or patch

Got a new job? Been switched to a new beat? A great way to connect with relevant PRs in your sector is to send a ResponseSource journalist request to broadcast what you’re up to and the sort of material you’re looking for. Include details of your favourite lunch spot and you never know, maybe some PRs established in your new patch will take you out to lunch to introduce themselves!

Raising the profile of your title

ResponseSource journalist enquiries go out to thousands of PRs who routinely suggest to their clients what sort of media outlets they should be paying attention to. Therefore every time you use it to request material for articles you’re raising the profile of your media outlet among an influential audience. This is particularly valuable for new or niche titles and blogs where editors often have a remit to expand their audience. Each request helps PRs to understand your title better. Even if they only reply to one in 10 of your requests, they’ll have read the other nine and will absorb tips on your tone, audience, the kind of information or calibre of spokesperson you normally look for.

Promoting your personal brand

In the same way as using the ResponseSource Journalist Enquiry Service can raise the profile of your media outlet, it can also boost your own ‘personal brand’ (apologies for the naff marketing-speak). Journalists today often need to be well established on social media, not just to assist with research but to help drive traffic to articles. Reaching thousands of well-connected PRs through ResponseSource can help widen your digital reach.

As you can see, for journalists there is much more to the ResponseSource Journalist Enquiry Service than just requesting raw material for articles.

See the follow-up to this post More ways journalists use ResponseSource you probably haven’t thought of

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