The relationship between publicists and journalists is a back-and-forth exchange that can evolve at any time. Since nearly half of all journalists say they receive around 25 unsolicited email pitches and releases a day, you have to make them count! Here are six things writers and journalists look for in a strong press release:
Now you’re talking my language.
Use language that really cuts to the chase and explains the news. Be thorough and include the five W’s. Include links to websites that offer even more information. And correct contact details at the end is a must.
We got the beat.
Journalists never want to feel like they are just another name on a long pitch list. Improve your media outreach by researching and getting to know their beats; only reach out to those whose interest matches the news you’re sharing.
Give a sneak peek.
Because many journalists get the same announcement, there are limitations and many writers don’t want to publish the same story as another outlet. Consider doing a pre-press release briefing, which can ensure the writer has enough time to put together an insightful piece and get the background information and quotes needed.
To catch them is your real test.
According to Business Wire’s Media Blueprint 2016 Media Survey, 61 percent of journalists say they prefer to receive in the morning; 34 percent say Tuesday is the best day. Consider using delivery by time zone on your morning newsletter to make sure you don’t send to those west coasters too early.
Step up your content game.
Journalists want to see more supporting facts, interesting story angles, trending industry topics, and an attention-grabbing headline in press releases.
Supplement your press release.
Include photos, graphics, infographics, interactive multimedia, or video in your press release (but don’t get crazy *in my best Bon Qui Qui voice*). If you’re pitching to radio, don’t forget the audio!
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