5 minutes

How To Use Journalist Requests To Maximise Link Building

Anybody else finding it increasingly difficult to secure coverage in the big publications? 

The digital PR landscape is growing rapidly, and although it’s a really exciting time for us all, more growth means more competition, which can make it even harder to cut through and get campaigns covered.

But, coverage and link targets aren’t going anywhere, so brands need to adapt – and adapt quickly! 

Here at NORTH, one link building tactic we adore is the journalist request. It’s a super quick way to gain links, requiring very little time but producing big results. 

In this guide, we’ll share our top tips on how to master this link building tactic, as well as sharing insight into other ways you could use journalist requests to improve your digital PR work.


How To Respond Quickly To A Journalist Request

It’s key to be quick when responding to a journalist request to ensure you meet the deadline and maximise your chances of getting your client covered.

However, with the digital PR industry already being incredibly fast paced, it can feel a little overwhelming to get the response sent in time. 

But, we have a few tips to help make it quicker for you to respond, keeping you calm and your clients happy!


Quote Bank 

For each of your clients, create a quote bank that covers the topics relevant to them. 

Journalists are always on the lookout for expert commentary. To get one step ahead, try  drafting up a few quotes, have your client sign them off and have them ready to go when a relevant request comes through.  

It’ll save you so much time, you can simply copy and paste the quote into an email, press send and wait for the link to land – a very productive five minutes!



At NORTH, we have a ResponseSource rota to make sure no opportunities get missed. 

One member of the team is assigned one day a week to cover ResponseSource and journo requests on Twitter, checking regularly throughout the day for anything relevant for our clients. 

When an appropriate request appears, the team member simply tags the PR lead and the ball starts rolling. 

It’s a really efficient way to make sure all journalist requests are checked, boosting  your chances to gain links for your brand.


Journalist Request Email Templates

Another top tip when time is of the essence is to have an email template ready to go. 

For example, many journalist requests we respond to for our food clients relate to types of recipes, so to make it easier, we created the below template that can be simply tweaked and sent straight across to the journalist.


Journalist Request Email Template


Alternative Ways To Use Journo Requests

We all know that the majority of requests we receive every day aren’t relevant to our brand, however, it doesn’t mean they aren’t useful. 

Journalist requests can help in other areas of digital PR, including media lists and ideations.


Media Lists 

When checking requests, it’s always good to keep a note of what the topic is and which journalists and publications are wanting information about it. 

For instance, a journalist might be looking for an expert to comment on  menopause, and if it’s relevant to your industry but you don’t currently have a reason to  comment, it would be good to make a note of this journalist incase you create a campaign about female health and well being in the future. 

This way, if you ever do cover a particular topic, you’ll have a list of journalists and publications you know that will be interested in your campaign and can add them to your media list.



Journalist requests can be useful when leading ideations, especially if you’re starting with a bit of a blank canvas for ideas. 

Every request gives us an insight into what journalists are wanting to write about and if you notice a surge in interest for something in particular, it could give you inspiration for your ideas. 

For example, journalists plan for Christmas in advance, so as soon as you notice those requests coming through, it might be a good chance to get your Christmas campaigns planned and outreached to maxmise your chance of gaining coverage.


Examples Of Journo Request Coverage

So far this year at NORTH, 21% of our links gained have come from journalist requests, all of which have contributed to achieving our clients link targets every month. 

This shows just how important it is to monitor journo requests and how beneficial this core link building tactic is. 

Here are some of our favourite pieces of coverage we’ve received:


Woman & Home – HelloFresh UK 

Woman & Home

Woman & Home is one of those publications we all dream to get featured in, isn’t it? 

So you can imagine the buzz in the office when we responded to a simple request looking for relaxing hobbies Brits can take up. 

After writing up a quick expert commentary on how relaxing cooking can be, we secured a link to our client’s homepage and ticked off a dream publication all at the same time!


Women’s Health – fourfive 

Women's Health

When the TikTok 12-3-30 workout trend went viral, journalists were looking for experts to comment, presenting the perfect opportunity for our CBD client!

We secured a link in Women’s Health – a super relevant publication for our client and a follow link, too! A complete win, win!


Daily Star – Fat Hippo

Daily Star

Did someone ask how to cook chips?

If there’s ever a request more suited to a burger restaurant, it’s this! A quick comment from our client’s Executive Chef gained us a link in the Daily Star… and the best bit? It took less than half an hour to outreach!


For more tips on how to maximise your link building efforts, head over to the NORTH blog or learn about our digital PR services.