Journalists’ bugbears

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We asked, they divulged: learn more about the little things that annoy journalists the most

We all get irritated when we come across something we view as unpleasant. Journalists are no different. But what are the things PRs should avoid to NOT get on the nerves of editors and correspondents? We interviewed top UK journalists to find out about their personal bugbears.

Watch the videos and learn how your press release can be improved, what to pay attention to and get insights into the preferences of individual journalists.

Suzannah Ramsdale

Lifestyle Director, Evening Standard 

“Embed your imagery into the email so I don’t have to download or open anything, I like to be able to see the story at a glance, definitely avoid any WeTransfer links that will expire.”

In charge of two verticals: Escapist, which is travel, health, fitness, wellness and self-development and Insider, which is celebrity, fashion, beauty, pop culture, politics, and zeitgeist.

Lisa Grainger

Deputy Editor and Travel Editor at Times LUXX 

“PRs not being honest is my biggest bugbear. I really value honesty and integrity.”

Deputy Editor and Travel Editor at Times Luxx for five months of the year, and freelances in-between. Contributes as Luxury Editor for The Times and Sunday Times and is Sustainability Editor at Country & Town House.

Jane Knight

Freelance Travel Writer & Consultant 

“My biggest bugbear is being sent press releases that have gone to everyone, and that aren’t tailored to me. This is even more important now I am freelance.”

Currently a freelancer, she specialises in family travel, cruises, SPA, hotels and luxury holidays.

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Sophie Gallagher

Deputy Head of Features & Lifestyle, The i 

“About 5% of emails I get are instant deletes: wrong tone, a subject that doesn’t fit with the The i audience or the worst, wrong name: rude!”

Sophie is in the digital and print team, works five days a week, is in the office Monday and Friday, and is the best point of contact as she is full-time.

Harriet Hal

Features Director, Cosmopolitan

“I don’t appreciate being chased on social media by PRs and I’d only take phone calls when we’re already working on something together.”

Harriet looks after the Features team, as well as the Love and Sex team. In the magazine, she oversees the Thrive section, which is health, wellbeing, fitness, mental health and physical health as well as other zeitgeist talking points.

Alice Lascelles

Freelance Drinks Writer, The Financial Times, HTSI 

“Do your research: there’s nothing more frustrating than getting a pitch that is irrelevant for the publications I write for.”

Alice writes about drinks for the Financial Times and is a Contributing Editor on FT How To Spend It, where she has a drinks column covering wine, spirits and bar culture. She also writes for Club Oenologique.

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PR Insights and PR guides

We collect insider information from top UK journalists, which we share in the form of blog posts and ebooks.

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PR insights:


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