How we work with the media
BMJ Journals media relations – What we do
Every week, BMJ publicises what we perceive to be the most interesting, new or important material from our stable of 60 journals. This can include original research papers, analysis articles, commentaries, editorials, letters, and podcasts.
We do this primarily via press releases and social media engagement.
Press releases are designed to generate news coverage, and content is selected by the media relations team on the basis of its news potential for a general (non-medical) audience. Some journals are a richer source of newsworthy articles than others.
Press releases are sent to over 6,000 journalists and media outlets around the world. We also have several different smaller lists, divided up by country and area of interest.
Press releases are based purely on the content of an article and aim to promote the journal, the science, and perform some public service. They are not intended to endorse particular policies or boost the profile of individual organisations.
Benefits to authors
Authors whose work has been press released generally find it a positive experience and an important opportunity to put their work and organisation before millions. As a result, some authors have been asked to speak at conferences and others have secured further funding.
What you can expect if your work is selected for press release
Here’s what happens if your article is selected for press release by the BMJ Press Officer:
- You will recieve an email informing you that your article has been selected for press release, we ask that you make us aware if it has been published as a preprint and/or has already been publicised in any way, including on social media. Extensive media coverage prior to formal publication in a journal may mean that the article is not suitable for press release by BMJ
- When your article is ready for publication, the Press Officer will write the release and send you a draft for any recommended changes and final approval.
- You are responsible for advising your co-authors / press office that your work is being promoted, and for providing a contact willing to talk to journalists, usually over the telephone.
- Once approved, the Press Officer will schedule a date and time for the article to publish and let you know in advance.
- No press release is issued without prior author approval.
- The press release is issued with a three day embargo. This encourages responsible and balanced reporting by giving journalists time to contact authors and other related experts ahead of publication.
- Your paper will be made freely available for a week after the release and article is published.
- Expect to receive up to about 10 calls. However, if your work is particularly topical or controversial, you could receive many more than this.
- If you are swamped with calls or can no longer continue taking calls, please contact the media relations team to arrange for a co-author to help out, or find an alternative specialist in the same field who can give a general comment about your work.
- Please don’t just ignore journalists in the hope that they will “go away.” The story will simply appear without your expert views and input, and so may be inaccurate or misleading.
As our press team can only prepare a handful of press releases every year, you can organise your own press release if your article is not selected. When you return your proof, let the production editor know that you’d like to set an embargo to coincide with your press release.
If you have any questions about BMJ media relations, please contact a member of the team at firstname.lastname@example.org