As editor of the Virgin Australia in-flight magazine, Kirsten Rowlingson is inundated with media releases on a daily basis. To make it into her magazine, keep your release short, to the point and go easy on the follow up. She prefers email rather than phone!
1. What is the most important thing you look for in a media release?
I get around 200 releases a day, so I want them to be short and to the point. Give me dates first so I can work out if I can even use it, then tell me what it is in a sentence. If I’m interested, I’ll read further. If it’s visual, give me a low-res pic. Don’t make me go to Wetransfer or Dropbox. If I want a high-res pic, I’ll follow up. And please, don’t call me 10 minutes after you’ve sent it asking if I’ve read it.
2. Do you often request a sample or to trial a service before you write about it?
It depends on what it is. If it’s a product that’s making some big claims, then yes, I may want to see it or trial it first to see if it stands up to that. But generally I leave this level of detail up to my trusted contributors.
3. Do you expect the pitch to be exclusive to you and your publication?
Not always. If it’s big news within the industry/sector other outlets will pick it up. We just try to ensure we cover the story in a way that other outlets wouldn’t.
4. What is the best time of the week/day to contact you?
There’s really no best time. Everyone has their own routines in how they get through the working day. I tend to emails very early, and very late in the day generally.
5. How do you feel about follow up?
Please don’t follow up via phone, but I’m happy for a follow-up email to come through. Pending the timeliness of the actual pitch, following up a couple of days or a week after you sent the release is fine. But generally, if I haven’t got back to you within two days, I’m not interested.
Want to get featured in the Virgin Australia inflight magazine? Kirstin isour