6 questions: Fiona Donnelly, Queensland taste Editor, The Courier-Mail

Over the coming months we will be approaching a few top Brisbane and Queensland journalists, as well as a few specialists, to find out how they like to work, any issues they have with PRs, how they like stories to be pitched to them, etc. First up is Fiona Donnelly, Queensland taste Editor from The Courier-Mail. (And yes, we know it’s technically 8 questions.)

1)      What is your deadline day?

I file every Wednesday for the following Tuesday. If you’re sending releases for taste, the general rule is the longer the lead-time given, the better the chance that I’ll be able to use something. Feel free to send a follow-up email closer to the date, if you haven’t heard anything back.

2)      How do you prefer to be contacted (i.e. email, phone, fax, post)?

Email is always best – unless it’s urgent.

3)      Is there a particular time of day you prefer to be contacted?

If you’re emailing – email anytime! If you’re phoning, please don’t call me on Monday (it’s production day for taste).

4)      Do you like to meet companies and bosses for coffee/ lunch? If yes, do you have any favourite venues?

Happy to meet anyone, anywhere – as long as there’s a scoop in the offing.

5)      What are your three pet peeves about PRs?

Generally I don’t like being called by PRs to check if there’s any interest in an email/event – if you’ve sent the email, the odds are I’ll have received it and if there’s interest I’ll certainly phone or email for more information.

6)      What would the perfect story pitch be for you? And what’s the best PR pitch you have ever had?

Haven’t had any stand-out pitches from PRs – the pitch really isn’t the important aspect for me. If your information is timely – i.e. if it’s provided to me before the marketing emails and press releases are sent out generally; and if it’s of interest to The Courier-Mail taste reader, then it’s a good pitch!

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