Jess Champion's Posts

Back to Basics: the Dos and Don’ts of Contacting Journalists

I’m what’s affectionately known (hopefully) at Distilled as a ‘boomerang’. That is I worked here many moons ago as Head of PR and now in the immortal words of, well a million people in a million movies, “I’m back baby”.

One of the things I’ve learned over the years, working with smart people in hard-working teams is the tendency to try and run before you can walk. So, with the benefit of new experiences and hindsight, I’m gonna take you all back to the basics of PR and outreach (specifically contacting journalists) with a list of dos and don’ts.


Be human

When you’re in ‘getting shit done’ mode it can be easy to turn into a mega methodical machine - ticking through that to-do list and hammering out hacks to make you as efficient as can be.

Continue reading >>

Share and Share Alike: The Secret to Making a Story Stick

Back in June I left the office behind to attend the debut Future of Comms conference in sunny East London. Shout out to the folks over at My News Desk who put on a stellar event, packed with a weighty line-up of comms professionals.

For me though, there was one star of the show.

Stephen Follows.jpg

Stephen Follows is a writer/producer over at Catsnake Film and one half of the duo responsible for ‘A Love Story in Milk’ - a short film which not only gained attention from none other than the United Nations but also racked up a bunch of awards and, to date, has had more than 1.5 million views.

Continue reading >>

The Art of the Media Interview

One of the ultimate goals of the media relations facet of PR is to become the go-to person for interviews in your space. When the media starts coming to you for comment, you know your PR efforts are really paying off.

This post will consider the two most important elements of becoming a media go-to. In my opinion these are:

  1. Being visible.
  2. Being quotable.

The benefits of media relations can be vast and, if you get your PR efforts right, they’ll go a long way in building and maintaining your reputation, demonstrating authority and credibility, and creating a buzz around your company. Done well, media relations can give you the edge over your competitors and, to this end, the power of a strong media interview is not to be underestimated.


You can’t become a go-to spokesperson if journalists don’t know you exist. Alongside day-to-day PR and marketing activities, one of the key elements of being visible is creating a media page on your website.

Continue reading >>

How to hit the headlines

Hailing from a traditional press office background (local government, Charity, Law), I’m often asked what specific PR tactics can be used to build links online. For a while I pondered this question as if it represented a separate challenge to the work of my previous roles in which, if I’m honest, Search just wasn’t in the forefront of my mind.

 “Maybe I’m missing something?” I thought, as I procrastinated on ways to engage audiences and build brand awareness and trust online.

It didn’t take long for me to find an answer though: PR is PR is PR. 

Let me explain

PR should not be viewed as something that can be ‘done’ to any old content, in order to get links. Links are symptomatic of good PR.

It’s a bit like Content Marketing really. Our industry is getting wise to the fact that creating awesome, relevant content wins the internet.

Continue reading >>