Gorkana Group

Media Briefing with The Sunday Times Business #STGorkana

The Sunday Times Business sells 900,000 copies per week and has 300,000 digital subscribers. The in-depth analysis of the previous week and the ambition to break big business stories sets the agenda for daily papers for the following week. As highlighted by British Business Survey, the Sunday Times continuously reaches high industry standards by working with some of the most experienced business journalists.

Yesterday we welcomed Dominic O’Connell, Business Editor and Iain Dey, Deputy Business Editor, to the London Stock Exchange to discuss how they work during the week and how PRs can help them find great stories to ensure that Saturday deadline is always met.

The briefing lasted for an hour and was followed by questions from the audience. Check out the key quotes and top tips from the speakers.

Key quotes:

Iain Dey on Sunday journalism: “It is often more difficult than daily journalism as a lot of blank pages need to be filled in with the information that people don’t know already. It is important to get under the skin of all the stories so the readers can trust you.”

Iain Dey on the rhythm of the week: “The week starts on Saturday night once the paper goes out with a conference when all the features are planned and the team brings their ideas to the table. From Tuesday morning until Wednesday evening everyone’s diary is packed with meetings, trying to build up a contact base. We really work long hours! By the end of Thursday most features are pretty much ready for publishing. Friday is all about chasing big news stories and Saturday is a live reporting day. The paper goes to bed at 6pm however last minute changes can be made until midnight.”

Dominic O’Connell: “We judge ourselves by the leading stories and the front page. You need a good splash. “

Dominic O’Connell on their digital strategy: “The Sunday Times app created for the tablets opened up a huge growth opportunity for the publication. Both the Times and the Sunday Times share an integrated digital strategy but will remain editorially independent.”

Iain Dey on Twitter: “Often we are biting our tongue as we should keep stories rather than give them away but Twitter can be useful when gauging opinions.”

Dominic O’Connell: “PRs should realise that news stories are not positive or negative, they are indifferent for the companies involved.”

Top tips:

Don’t act as a gatekeeper. See beyond your role and put our journalists in front of the right people so the best possible information can be provided.

Get your two bites of the cherry. Well-placed Sunday story will be followed up by the daily papers.

Targeted stories including research provided by PRs always help to shape an opinion.

Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to contact us, although there is never a “great” time.  Emails are preferable as we can read them on our way to the meetings.

Advise your clients to be honest and upfront whether providing information about corporate tax or horsemeat.

A guy in a suit kills the mood so think imaginatively about the pictures you provide to us. The Sunday Times Business looks for “personality” when selecting pictures for the interviews.

We thank everyone who attended and would like to give special thanks to our speakers and London Stock Exchange for hosting.

See the full story here.

Take a look at the vox pops with Dominic and Iain below.

Dominic O’Connell Vox Pop from Gorkana Group on Vimeo.

Iain Dey Vox Pop from Gorkana Group on Vimeo.

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Gorkana specialises in media intelligence & insight for PRs, Marketers & Journalists. Visit www.gorkana.com for more information.

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