In the hot seat - Barney Calman, Health Editor at The Mail on Sunday


In the hot seat:

  • Barney Calman
    Health Editor at The Mail on Sunday

Barney's Focus:

  • Main focus is bringing readers brand new information that aims to tackle health concerns for the majority of Mail on Sunday readers
  • Focuses on stories written to help readers stay well in an achievable way and not by spending lots of money
  • Best way to contact is by phone. He is never too busy for a good story but only call if it’s a good story.
  • Barney is a very strong believer that health journalists and PRs have a duty of care

Mail on Sunday:

  • There are 9/10 pages every week dedicated to health
  • The Mail on Sunday is Britain’s only paper whose health pages are approved by NHS GP’s before going to press
    • Aiming to provide information that a doctor would give a patient
  • The reader is 40+ years old, predominantly female, reading on behalf of whole family
  • Readers are interested in health concerns for all age groups
  • Mail on Sunday goes to print at 10pm on Saturday night
  • All stories are syndicated online

Top Tips:

  • Before pitching ask the following questions - Why the Mail on Sunday? Why is it a story for this particular reader? What makes it interesting?
    • All stories need to be right for the publication
  • Loves a survey within a pitch especially when aimed at the Mail on Sunday demographic
  • Eye catching striking statements work well
  • If you can’t sell a story to Barney in 30 seconds it isn’t a story
  • Barney doesn’t like “awareness weeks” due to an oversaturated market and it is distracting from the news
  • Don’t call with a press release midweek or too late
  • Unable to commission someone to write any story if it has already gone to every other title
  • Mail on Sunday tries to work with charities as much as possible
  • Advises all PRs to think like journalists
  • Help Barney work out what will make the Mail On Sunday stand out on the news stand

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