Public Relations Best Practices: Send Faxes to Interested Reporters


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Because of their immediacy, facsimile (fax) machines are the fastest, most reliable and inexpensive way to send information. Used incorrectly, they can also be the most detrimental to your credibility because reporters don’t like having their machines tied-up with unsolicited faxed press releases.

Before you fax, call the reporter, gain their interest, then ask if you can send a fax. Always double-check the fax number against any printed reference number because some receivers, flooded with unsolicited faxes, change their numbers every few weeks.

Guidelines For Faxing to the Media:

• Send a fax ONLY if the reporter requests it; write a note on the cover page that states “Sent at Your Request.”
• Send faxes one to five pages in length, no longer (excluding cover sheet).
• Direct your fax to one reporter only; and don’t list others receiving the fax.
• Write brief notes on the cover page to save transmission time and paper.

To ensure that your document is received in its entirety and is as legible as possible, take these precautions:
• Print in boldface.
• Use an easy-to-read type face like Helvetica or Universal; and avoid intricate typefaces (Gothic, Chancery, Mystral).
• Use a larger type size (12-14 point).
• Double space between the lines.
• Indicate how many pages will be sent on the cover page.
• List the name and phone number of the person to call in the event part of the fax does not transmit, or is illegible.
• Call to confirm ONLY when you think there may be a problem.

By following these tips, your faxes – and more importantly your messages – will be well received.