Journo intel: Anna Gross, Political Correspondent, Financial Times

Pitching breaking news? Ready with a quick reaction? Want to get an expert voice out there? The best place to start is understanding how publications like to work, and what journos expect. We sat down with Financial Times Political Correspondent Anna Gross, who’s also worked the UK TMT (tech, media, and telecoms) desk, to get the inside track.

To get noticed, email early

Ideally around 7 am. The tech desk’s daily meeting is at 9:30 am, so the more time the team has to look into your story, the more likely you are to get on the agenda. If you’re offering a breaking news exclusive, Anna recommends you get it to the right team before 10 am.

The day of the week can matter, too. Anna holds Mondays and Fridays for writing – often with a focus on feature stories. Tuesdays and Thursdays are her office days, and a good opportunity to meet experts for coffee. And if you’re looking to get into FT weekend press, she’d expect to hear from you by Wednesday.

If you’re not after a whole story – just a comment in the right place – it’s worth remembering that the FT Fast blog invites 100-word takes on trending topics.

Nothing beats credibility and relevance

Anna’s spent time building up a network of trusted PR contacts and experts. She’ll often get in touch with PR professionals who can offer up spokespeople with genuine expertise, credibility, and intelligent insights. Of course, the FT will do its due diligence to check out the experts, too. While she’s happy to hear from C-suite executives, she also appreciates niche experts who can offer a unique perspective.

Most importantly, Anna will only look at content that’s relevant to the FT’s scope and interests. If you haven’t made clear who the submission’s from and why it matters in the subject line, you’re unlikely to get noticed. Stories can run over days or even weeks – so if you have an interesting angle (like how an event affects your industry, for example) share it sooner rather than later. Timing in media relations is crucial.

Online comes first

The FT breaks the best stories online first. On the flipside, that means the print edition might include content that wouldn’t make it to the website.

Think broad for TMT, world-changing for financial news

Tech, media, telecoms news, product launches, price fluctuations, mergers and fundraisers have broad appeal. But when it comes to financial announcements, the FT looks for really significant industry or global impact – even for large funding rounds or investment news.

The bigger the name, the better.

Understanding the FT desk’s focus areas, timing considerations, and Anna’s interests can significantly improve your chances of working with the FT and getting your message across to the right audience.

We have plenty more to say about media relations strategies. Get in touch and we’d love to have a chat about it.

Katie Chodosh Screen

Written by Katie Chodosh, Head of Media Relations at Definition