Home PR Insights 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

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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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