Oh crikey. Scrolling through my inbox past endless Jubilee-adjacent and Father’s Day press releases, I spotted a rather terrifying direction… Two of the big grocers have asked how soon I’d be ready to conduct Christmas food taste tests. I did a mental double-take (sometimes, when very stressed, I can’t remember whether it’s spring or autumn) – it really is still May and therefore very early… isn’t it?
I’ve worked on every cycle of publishing, from quarterly large-format magazines to instant digital newsletters, and each has its challenges and rewards. When it gets complicated is when one journalist is working on several titles which run at different ‘speeds’. Even at the Telegraph I’m across the Saturday magazine and daily features so have one eye on summer holiday content and the other on what – for instance – Kate Moss might say today in court.
My advice is by all means flag that tastings and planning is going on, but if you don’t get a response, bookmark it as ‘too early’ and come back later. It might be worth briefing (or asking for a general steer) on how far ahead everyone works and share the intel with your teams.
NB I have griped about this before but PRs, please read automated responses we journalists have on our emails – they don’t all say ‘I’m on holiday”… I have a long-term one set up right now because I have been seconded onto a different part of the Telegraph, where I work. It points out that I’m not working directly on food right now, and advises who to contact instead. But I keep getting follow-ups on releases that aren’t relevant to me right now and, alas, I don’t have time to write back every time and your information is going largely unread. I know automated replies are annoying but they exist for a reason!
What Lisa Thinks…
“I have been inundated with Jubilee press releases, some *very* tenuous, so I admire the determinedly non-regal premise of this information, even if it falls at the last hurdle…”