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Responding to enquiries with a short deadline

Short Deadlines - Clock

Short deadline enquiries provide a great opportunity to get media coverage for your business or clients.

When a journalist adds a short deadline to their media enquiry it’s likely they’re already working on a story and need additional input, fast.

Journalists are constantly working to tight deadlines and depending on the type of media they work on, it can mean that stories need to be compiled over the space of a few hours.

National publications will often send enquiries that need to be responded to on that day as they have a lot of stories to cover and want to get them out when they are still timely.

Not every company has the ability to respond to enquiries with short notice, especially if they need to contact clients to get information. So those businesses that are able to reply quickly could really benefit from being one of the short list of respondents.

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You’re in luck if you’re a business with a short sign off procedure, which is why smaller companies are often able to respond to enquiries faster. If you already have a bank of material available it can make a difference to the speed you can respond too, but remember that each pitch should still be tailored to the journalist query.

Although there’s opportunity in responding to short notice requests, it’s important not to mess a journalist around. Avoid responding quickly saying you have exactly what they need without actually providing any of that information in the first message and don’t just attach a press release that the journalist has to sift through for the message they need.

Replying to suitable enquiries as you receive them is a good practice to get into, this is because requests are sometimes closed early if the journalist feels they have already received enough suitable replies.

Be clear and concise in your reply. Provide contact details where you can be reached for more information – both a phone number and email should be included. Be available to pick up the phone and reply to emails. Remember that a deadline is usually set in stone so don’t message back asking for more time.

If you can help with a short request, journalists are more likely to keep you in mind for future stories. Helping journalists with their stories is a great way to build a relationship but helping them when they are on a tight deadline is likely to get you extra brownie points.

Many journalists use the ResponseSource Journalist Enquiry Service with short deadline enquiries. If you have a subscription you can spot them in your inbox by the red deadline text. If you don’t have a subscription yet we can offer you a free seven day trial of the service so you can start responding to journalists today.

Got some great coverage after helping a journalist with a tight deadline? We’d love to hear about it.

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