The Secret Joy of Journo Requests

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By Amy Stone, Communications Consultant at Hard Numbers

What’s not to love about journalist requests? As PRs, it’s a huge part of our work to secure coverage and having that clear insight into what journalists are talking about right now is the best source of counsel for our clients.

Staying on the pulse of what journos are looking for is made so much easier thanks to platforms like ResponseSource and PressPlugs that deliver these requests straight to our inbox, and even easy to follow Twitter hashtags like #journorequest and #PRrequest are endlessly useful.

However, there is one more accidental benefit of journo requests that should be noted. Every now and then, amongst the serious requests for COVID commentary and thoughts on the latest government announcement, there are a few hidden gems that never fail to make my day. From the slightly quirky to the outright bizarre requests that almost seem like a prank, below are some of my favourites from the year that always had me asking…

“Where on earth is that story going?”

1) The one with the jellyfish

This very specific and utterly bizarre request from The i Paper left me with many questions. Did they ever find someone to talk about this? Is this person okay after their traumatic ordeal? And for goodness sake, can someone please find me this article?! I have to read it.

2) The one with the wrong type of stuffed animals

If you’re thinking; “Taxidermy + Children’s TV is a bizarre combination” I completely agree with you. These are not two things you would automatically pair together. No idea what the plan was here, but I’ll keep the faith that it was highly educational and not as dark, creepy and morbid as it sounds.

3) The one with the plot line from a Marvel movie

Now this one was one of my favourites and it sparked much debate at Hard Numbers. Am I a star seed? How do you know if you’re a star seed? Could you be a star seed and not know it? And most importantly, exactly how many people out there claim to be a star seed? So, so many questions…

4) The one with a different type of probing question

Alien Abduction Insurance. End of the World Insurance. Does this sound like a scam? Yes. Did I immediately google to see if I could find such a provider and see how much it quoted? Also yes. (Unsuccessfully I’m afraid, but the curiosity remains)

5) The one with the cowboy boot aficionado

Top tier publication Forbes is often looking for an expert voice, so I almost missed this one. When people joke that “there’s an expert for everything these days!”, this request is what they’ll refer to. Not to disparage their credibility but I have more than a few questions… At what point in your cowboy boot career do you start calling yourself a “Cowboy Boot Expert”? Is there a grading system? Do you have to take a test to prove your cowboy boot prowess? And finally, did you get this printed on business cards? I certainly would.

6) The one with the end of the world

And finally… one we can all relate to! While I doubt she’ll ever find the expert commentary she’s looking for, I’m sure the Twittersphere provided ample witty and scathing banter.

To find out more about how we help brands build credibility with journalists, visit our media relations page.

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