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The 3 Key Roles of the Media Contact

Each time you use to distribute a press release, you’ll notice that we ask for the name, email and phone number for your “Media Contact” — but who is this “Media Contact”? A Media Contact is the person in your organization who you entrust with the responsibility of communicating on behalf of your company with news writers, bloggers, and other journalists who are interested in your news.

The 3 key roles of the Media Contact are:

  1. Read through every email query and listen to every voice message and quickly decide what is needed. (i.e. does the journalist want an interview with a company executive? Or a product sent for a potential review? Or images of your product?)

  2. Promptly reply to any media query that comes in via email or phone. (Prompt means within one business day; sooner if the query has an urgent deadline.)

  3. Keep in touch with media and ensure they have received the materials they need — that the interview you coordinated happened, the product sample was delivered on time, and the images were provided with the correct size and resolution, etc.

An important detail to remember when distributing a press release is that the Media Contact needs to be available for at least one week following the press release distribution date. This isn’t a role for someone who is about to go on vacation, or who is too busy to be responsive to calls and emails.

You may be wondering, how many people will try to reach the Media Contact? The volume of calls or emails about your press release cannot be quantified in advance. Reporters will contact you if and when they are interested in your news, usually to gather additional information so they can use your news to develop an upcoming story or review. If the announcement or topic is not of interest at the moment, the journalist may file the release in a folder for use in the future. The more newsworthy and compelling your press release is, the more likely it is the Media Contact will receive many queries, and ideally earn editorial coverage for your announcement.

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