Home PR Insights Journalist Bug Bears: What to avoid in your next pitch.

Journalist Bug Bears: What to avoid in your next pitch.

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We asked about their biggest bug bears, and they divulged: these are the things that most annoy the UK’s top writers and editors.

As PRs, you know better than anyone that pitching is a complex form of art. Journalists and PRs need each other, and communication is key to ensure that the stories you need to tell, get told by the right people. We spoke to leading journalists to find out their biggest bug bears when it comes to the emails that flood their inboxes every day.

Here's what they had to say:

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

Lisa Grainger

Deputy Editor and Travel, Editor at Times LUXX

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“Please don’t send me physical paper releases or lookbooks. We have a no-paper policy and do not accept paper copies.”
Shelly Vella

Shelly Vella

Fashion Director at YOU Magazine

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“I hate WeTransfer! Please send images via Dropbox, or even better, attach a few low-res images to the email, which will give me a flavour.”
Chloe Street

Chloe Street

Acting Fashion Editor at the Evening Standard

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“Always include a price and a link in your initial email to me. This saves so much time as means I don’t have to come back and ask for it.”
Lizzie Pook

Lizzie Pook

Stylist Travel Editor and Freelance Travel Writer

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“I really dislike being chased on email. Also, don’t try and manipulate my inbox by re-sending emails to be at the top of my nbox.”
Alexandra Friend

Alexandra Friend

Senior Beauty Editor, Elle, Prima, & Good Housekeeping

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“Keep contact to email, please. I do not like being messaged on Instagram or Twitter.
Leaf Arbuthnott

Leaf Arbuthnott

Acting Features Director, Tatler

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“Don’t pitch without reading a recent copy of Grazia, and don’t name drop sections which no longer exist. If you haven’t read the magazine in the last few months, you can’t be sure your celebrity is right.”
Guy Pewsey

Guy Pewsey

Celebrity Director of Grazia

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

Jane Knight

Freelance Travel Writer & Consultant

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“My biggest bugbear? Poorly targeted info and pitching something that has already featured.”
Lisa Markwell

Lisa Markwell

Food Editor, Sunday Times Magazine

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“I find it really lazy when I get emails that start with ‘Hi there’. Take some time, think about it, tailor it.”
Flora Macdonald-Johnston

Flora Macdonald-Johnston

Junior Fashion Editor, Financial Times

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“50% of my job is organising the pictures. Make it easier for me, and do not send WeTransfer links.”
Ted Thornhill

Ted Thornhill

Travel Editor at The Mail Online

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“I have a foreign name: please try to spell it right.”
Tomé Morrissy-Swan

Tomé Morrissy-Swan

Lifestyle Writer, The Telegraph

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