Gorkana Group

PR Tips from the Press Association

This morning Gorkana held a breakfast briefing in the heart of Spitalfields with the editor of the Press Association, Jonathan Grun. I caught up with Jonathan after the event and asked him for his top tips for PRs wanting to pitch stories to one of Europe’s most widely read newswires.

Jonathan Grun’s PR Top Tips:

  • The Press Association produces over 150,000 words of news per day
  • PA is a rolling newsfeed, in a sense they’ve been “tweeting since 1868″
  • At the PA HQ there is a central command desk, where Jonathan sits with the picture and video editors in constant dialogue with one another
  • The PA think that embargoes are a good thing. The PA is a trusted source of confidentiality and it is very rare for one of its customers to break an embargo
  • In addition to the PA’s rolling newsfeed there is a diary service, which plots key events for the year ahead and is highly valued by its customers
  • PA stories have to be properly sourced. “If a story is on PA it has to be fair and accurate. There’s too much slosh on social media and we try not to use it as a source”
  • PA customers range from the Financial Times to the Daily Star. “The fate of the euro carries the same weight as the fate of Big Brother for our customers”
  • The bottom line is: a story needs to be good. Get in touch with the editors to discuss whether your story will be of interest to the PA. “If a story has a ‘guess what?’ factor then chances are the PA will be very interested”
  • Dry news stories can be brought to life by interesting case studies. People are interested in people
  • There is no ‘perfect time’ to pitch news stories, however, the earlier in the day the better. Just make sure not to pitch in the middle of a breaking news story. “All PRs should have a TV with rolling news on in their office. Remember, if there’s smoke don’t call!”
  • The worst thing a PR can do, in most cases, is to keep quiet. “Silent PRs make clients look shifty”


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Written by Adam Layton

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  • Anonymous

    Adam, keep up the good work. These briefings are really useful for those of us who find it hard to make time to come to the events

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