Well, it’s always difficult.
First of all, you need phone numbers. So you must be quick and skilled at going to www.whitepages.com.au and finding numbers.
Second, you must be skilled at quickly finding media releases on websites, because these always contain the work and mobile numbers of public relations people who should be able to help.
Third, you must have a good phone manner and you must be skilled at talking people into helping you when they may be uninterested in helping you.
Fourth, you must get into the habit of immediately putting any new name and contact points (phone, mobile, fax, landline, email) into your contact book, because at a later stage you WILL need those contact points again.
1. Phone early (many people get to their workplace before others and answer the phone themselves).
2. Phone late (many people work after all their employees have left, and answer the phone themselves).
3. Be persistent.
4. Never be waiting for a return call — you call them.
5. Always return calls immediately, not later when it may be more suitable to you.
If you think it’s difficult for you as a newcomer, I can assure you that at times it’s just as difficult for experienced, senior and respected journalists. No one who talks to journalists frequently, is happy to talk to us at any time.