Press conference dos and don'ts

Five myths about selling a story exploded!

Think you know how the media works? We look at what people think – and reveal the truth about dealing with the press…

Press conference dos and don'ts
Dealing with the press…

Dealing with the press myth One: People who appear in lots of publications have earned the most money.

Unfortunately the opposite is often true. It is the person who has appeared in one publication first – rather than many – who will have been paid for their story. This is because publications pay for exclusives but they don’t pay out top prices for a story which everyone else has.

Dealing with the press myth Two: You must sign a contract before a publication can print your story.

Legally as soon as you approach a journalist with your story you are giving your permission to print it. Certainly if you give an interview and pose for photos then you are giving your consent. The only time when you can guarantee your story is not going to be sold on without your knowledge is by consulting a trusted media agent. For example Featureworld is one agency where all approaches about selling a story are completely confidential. It guarantees that stories are only sold on if an interviewee has signed a written contract of consent.

Dealing with the press myth Three: Speaking with your local paper is safer than a national one.

Sadly the nice local reporter will often sell your story on to the national newspapers without asking your permission and with no payment to you. National papers also browse the local media searching for stories which can be lifted without an interviewee’s consent. Therefore it is wise to seek professional advice from a reputable media agency about dealing with the press first.

Dealing with the press myth Four: Going directly to a national newspaper will get you the best deal.

Going straight to a national newspaper to sell your story will never gain you the most money. This is because unless you are selling stories to the press every day you have no real idea what your story is worth. Plus, without proper contracts in place, a national newspaper may syndicate or sell your story all around the world without your consent. An agent will always gain you more deals – they can send your story to multiple publications to gain the best price and sell your story on to multiple publications gaining you royalties for your story. In addition, if you are not selling a story via a professional company, there is always the danger a national newspaper will not pay you.

Dealing with the press myth Five: Newspapers can print anything.

Everything in a national newspaper has been checked by lawyers and journalists. It is just not possible to sell a pack of lies to a paper and not be found out. Despite what the public often thinks, it is difficult to get any story into the national press. Any interviewee is competing for space online and in a paper with the Royal family, big breaking news stories and celebrities. All the more reason to employ an expert in the first place to market your story properly.

Alison Smith-Squire is happy to give you free and confidential advice about dealing with the press and selling a story. Simply contact her using the form to the right >>>

Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website Featureworld.co.uk, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

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