The Association of Business Recovery Professionals (“R3”) Journalist Contact Policy
Who we are:
R3 is the UK’s insolvency and restructuring trade body, representing individuals working in the insolvency, restructuring, turnaround, advisory and associated professions. It is R3’s role to represent the views of its members to stakeholders, including promotion of the profession and framework through the national, regional, and online media.
R3’s media work fulfils several functions:
- R3 contacts journalists to inform them of research it has carried out in relation to insolvency and restructuring issues;
- R3 contacts journalists to publicise profession’s policy recommendations;
- R3 contacts journalists with responses to news events;
- R3 contacts journalists to offer meetings with R3 representatives; and
- R3 contacts journalists to provide technical support when they might be reporting on insolvency issues with which they are unfamiliar.
R3 may contact journalists:
- When it is pitching a story to one journalist as an exclusive;
- When it is pitching or sending a press release to more than one journalist who may be interested in the story (or to journalists who have previously asked to be sent all R3 media statements);
- To follow up with a journalist after they have written a story relevant to the insolvency and restructuring profession;
- To proactively offer a meeting with an R3 representative;
- To respond to a news event;
- To run an idea past a contact or to discuss mutual interests; or
- To introduce R3 to journalists who have just started covering a ‘beat’ relevant to R3.
This contact helps journalists write articles and understand insolvency issues.
Contact may be by email, phone, text, face-to-face, or Twitter (and other social media channels).
In turn, R3 is approached by journalists who need:
- Research or data to support articles;
- On-the-record comment from the profession on relevant news stories;
- Background information on stories;
- Help understanding technical issues relating to insolvency and restructuring;
- Interview subjects;
- To introduce themselves to R3 and to request press releases; or
- To discuss ideas and upcoming projects.
In short, R3 has a legitimate role to play in contacting journalists with information about insolvency and restructuring which may help them report on insolvency and restructuring-related news.
R3 takes seriously its responsibility to ensure any contact with journalists is relevant to their interests. While R3 has access to a large journalist database and maintains its own longlist of journalist contacts, R3 will not ‘blanket’ email targets from either the database or longlist; the recipients of press releases (or any other type of contact) are discussed with the Head of Communications before any contact is made to assess whether the contact would be relevant to the journalist.
The only exceptions to this are:
a. Sending press releases by email to our list of trade journalists, on the basis that, as trade journalists, they will be interested in any insolvency and restructuring news. The list is updated regularly to ensure journalists on the list are still covering the insolvency and restructuring profession;
b. Sending press releases by email to our lists of regional journalists. Those on the lists are business journalists attached to regional outlets; they will only be contacted with content relevant to their region or local ‘beat’. This list is updated regularly.
c. Sending press releases by email to anyone who has asked to receive R3 press releases.
Insolvency and restructuring is a wide-ranging topic: it covers everything from insolvency processes themselves, corporate finance and UK business trends, how the insolvency and restructuring framework is affected by external factors (e.g. Brexit), personal debt trends, fraud, tax, pensions, and more. Insolvency and restructuring-related stories are therefore relevant to a very wide range of journalists:
a. ‘Generalists’ covering general business or personal finance news stories, including high profile corporate insolvencies, corporate finance trends, personal insolvency or debt trends (e.g. ‘business reporters’, ‘economics reporters’, ‘enterprise reporters’, ‘news reporters’ at both national and regional outlets);
b. Broadcast producers looking to book guests to talk about insolvency and restructuring-related stories, including ‘breaking news’ about a corporate insolvency, or longer term trends;
c. ‘Professional services’ reporters and trade journalists, who cover the insolvency and restructuring profession as a standalone sector;
d. ‘Personal finance’ specialists, who are interested in specific types of personal finance-related stories, and may pick up on an insolvency angle to their ‘beat’ (e.g. ‘Pensions correspondents’ may cover the differing treatment of pensions in different types of bankruptcy.);
e. Sector specialists, who write about particular industries and professions, and who may be reporting on a corporate insolvency or an insolvency trend within their sector (e.g. ‘Leisure Correspondent’, ‘Retail Editor’, or ‘Energy Correspondent’).
As above, R3 will contact journalists with information relevant to them: business journalists will not be contacted with purely personal insolvency-related content and vice-versa; sector specialist journalists are unlikely to be sent content about general insolvency issues, unless the content is relevant to a trend or issue within their sector. For example, R3’s 2018 CVA report was sent to retail specialists following a spate of retail CVAs; R3’s ‘guide to liquidation’ was sent to construction specialists following the Carillion liquidation, but was not sent to pharmaceutical specialists.
The R3 Head of External Relations should be notified of any contact with journalists by R3 members of staff, including ‘inbound’ contacts once they have taken place and ‘outbound’ contacts before they are made. The Head of External Relations (or, in their absence, the Communications Manager or the Technical and Education Director) must approve any ‘outbound’ journalist contact and will assess whether the contact would be relevant to the targeted journalists.
If you have a concern about the way R3 is contacting journalists we would encourage you to please raise your concerns with us in the first instance. Concerns can be raised with the R3 Head of External Relations be emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: Head of Communications, R3, 8TH Floor, 120 Aldersgate Street, London, EC1A 4JQ.
Changes to our Journalist Contact Policy:
We keep all of our policies under regular review and will place any updates on our website www.r3.org.uk.
(This policy was last updated 11th July 2019)