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Contacts: Connecting directly
with Canadian journalists

Contacts are the people you've selected to respond to journalists. Many organizations funnel media calls to their public relations departments. Others select contacts possessing expertise or choose contacts from each province. Some organizations include only their main phone and fax numbers. It's up to you to decide what is most appropriate for your organization.

Generally you'll get more for your media relations dollar by including as many contacts as appropriate. A generous 15 contacts, each with full co-ordinates, are included with your listing.

A contact can simply be a name and phone number. We recommend: name, title, mailing address, phone number, fax, E-mail, World Wide Web address, an after-hours number and cellular phone number. The more communication options you provide the more your Sources listing will appeal to journalists.

Canada has five time zones. Additionally, the media often call after regular business hours. The easier you are to reach the more likely they are to quote you. Respond as promptly as possible to media calls. If you've listed your E-mail address check it at least daily.

Ensure all your contacts in Sources are at least aware of, and preferably briefed about, handling calls from journalists. Review internal policies for handling media calls. Check out the article on telephone procedures in HotLink 7 - " Your virtual storefront" for tips on handling media calls.

Monitor your media relations activity. A person in your organization should be given responsibility for keeping track of media coverage. You may be getting more calls than you realize. Each is an opportunity to get your message heard. And clippings and broadcast mentions can be valuable promotional tools.

For help with contacts or any other aspect of your Sources listing, call us at (416) 964-5735. For great advice on factors to consider when selecting spokespersons for your organization, take a look at Al Rothstein's article on page one of this issue ofHotLink.

See also:

Getting the most out of your Sources Listing
Enhance your listing and get the most for your dollars
Helping journalists find you: Getting the most from the Subject Index
How Sources magnifies your Internet visibility