Bite Sized Covid Media Tips: The Sun

This is the fourth in our series of Bite Sized Covid Media Tips, designed to help you get thinking about the best way to get your business in front of the national media at this time.

Like every business, the business of media has changed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with reporters and editorial teams working remotely and many on furlough; editions slim-lined to save costs and “normal” coverage put back on the shelf in preference for more news style coverage related to the pandemic. Volpa has been keeping up to date with those changes as they have happened and we are sharing our knowledge in a series of Bite Sized Covid Media Tips, because while it is still possible to generate media coverage at this time, businesses need to be aware of what editors are looking for, now more than ever.

Here’s just a bite sized briefing from a recent exclusive international webcast we attended with Tracey Boles, business editor of The Sun, on what changes have taken place since this crisis began and what kind of stories they are looking for now, and in the future.

Tracey is currently the only journalist on staff who works on business for The Sun. Experienced freelancers are used to cover her work in her absence.

Data on Sun City readers:

  • 15% of 4 million readership
  • Readers of the newspaper tend to be in their early 50s. Females at 43% (across all the paper)
  • Average age of digital readers is 40. More women read the stories online.
  • Readers are parents
  • Readers are in that age bracket where they are looking for investment opportunities and advice on what to invest in


Tracey Boles’ top tips

  1. The Sun are currently having their editorial conference at 11.30am. Currently, there is more planning taking place in the mornings. Tracey is open to be contacted in the morning before 11am, or even the day before. By 1pm they usually have a good idea of how the paper is going to look. In peak lockdown, business stories were making the main news pages every four out of five days.
  2. There has been more uptake in digital. The Sun classic app is where all business stories are run. The Sun Money covers stories predominantly to get traffic – so stories such as store closures and job losses are given a big focus here.
  3. Tracey recently helped set up a series of videos regarding the reopening of different places after lockdown such as Primark, Hollywood Bowl, and JD Wetherspoons. They have been received very well. She would be open to ideas about other places that have yet to reopen to feature in these videos. The Primark video received around 700K hits. A normal business story would receive around 5K hits.
  4. Good pictures are key. She is always keen to receive good quality pictures to accompany her stories. She says corporates don’t understand this very well. She has found Banks (asides from Barclays & RBS) and financial services don’t understand The Sun.
  5. The Sun are keen on positive stories which may help readers. The Sun tries to offer tips on how to live life better and they understand the value of the lighter side of news, so Tracey does try to run quirky and fun stories.
  6. Going forward, she is interested in stories regarding:
  • Insight into employment issues affecting readers
  • What new sectors of work are opening up for young people.
  • Personal Finance (she has a background in this, yet receives very little from PRs in this area)
  • Tech – tech companies who have done well out of this crisis
  • Around the Home stories, including home working and telecoms and broadband

7. Best way to pitch:

  • Write a short brief email before 11am for next day’s coverage
  • Main points must be at the top
  • Only call if it is a massive, breaking story, otherwise don’t
  • Make your pitch clear

If you have a story that you think has national media interest and need help crafting it or getting it in front of the right people, please give Volpa a call on 01738 658187. We’re here to help.

Read our cunningly good guide to generating press coverage in a pandemic if you want to know more on how to generate media coverage.

You can read more of our Bite Sized Covid Media Tips here: