Responding to media requests – the basics

What is a media request?

Journalists writing stories often search for insights, remarks, or interviews from organisations in the sector they are covering. Many journalists post these requests on social media, forums, or specialised platforms.  These requests are referred to as media requests, or journalist enquiries. Responding to media requests can be a swift and simple way to get your organisation highlighted in the media.

Media request alerts in an email client inbox

Who do journalists want to hear from?

All sorts. The kind of organisations journalists seek information from is varied and includes businesses, academia, think-tanks, individual experts, authorities and charities. The actual information or comment sought very much depends on the story.

Who can respond to a media request?

Anyone who can genuinely help a journalist with their story can respond to media requests. In practice many organisations find that hiring a PR agency, who are experts in reviewing and responding to media requests, works well. Business owners can also receive and respond to journalist enquiries directly. Either way, responding to media requests is an established and effective way to earn print and online media coverage in newspapers, consumer magazines and trade titles.

How to respond to media requests?

When responding to media requests it helps if you put yourself in the journalist’s shoes and consider the audience that they are writing for. These tips make it easier for a journalist to work with you:

Be relevant:
Journalists frequently complain about off-topic pitches. Read the request carefully – we suggest reading it twice – then make sure your response is relevant to the journalist’s request.

Be prompt:
Journalists often have tight deadlines. Responding fast builds trust and establishes you as a reliable source. Being quick gives you a better chance of winning media coverage in a competitive field.

Be transparent:
Be open about who you are, who you represent, and what information you can provide. Be clear about any limitations or restrictions on what you can share.

Be concise:
It’s ok, and respectful, to keep your initial response short and to the point. If a journalist needs more information from a source, they will ask for it.

Be responsive:
Make sure you are available to answer any follow-up questions or provide additional information if needed. Provide a phone number as well as email contact details.

Follow these tips and you’ll improve your chances of securing some media coverage.

Dot Star Media provides a media request service connecting journalists with businesses, academia and charities.

Businesses and public relations people looking to receive journalist enquiries are welcome to try the Dot Star Media journalist enquiry service – see

Journalists can send media requests to a wide range of business, PR, charity and academic sources using this journalist enquiry form. Dot Star Media also monitors Twitter for journalist requests and alerts its network to relevant journalist enquiries. More information on how it works here: