I wrote a news story about Michelin-starred sausage rolls the other day. I know, I know, what place do sausage rolls have on the news pages of a national newspaper, you may ask, but these are strange times.
All I can say is we have ways of measuring how popular stories are online, and it performed very well.
It was an on-the-day story, deadline of 4pm, so I set about trying to find chefs and restaurants that would stand up my rather tenuous pitch that sausage rolls were getting a posh makeover. I trawled online, I rang some PRs.
Two came back within 20 minutes with suggestions plus contact numbers for the chefs in question if I wanted to chat to them. They were expecting my call. Great stuff. Journalists and PRs working in harmony: together we will change the world one sausage roll at a time.
Another PR came back to me a day later with the most perfectly crafted piece of research.
They had established all the background information, details of the recipe, quotes from the chef, sourced photography, etc, etc. It was an exemplary bit of work. Diligent, thoughtful, thorough, a real credit to them – and, of course, 24 hours too late so completely useless.
Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Speed is often much more important than detail, and when deadlines are tight we journalists will make the most of whatever we can get.
But you do have to give us something to work on.