press releases

why press releases matter

As long as you have a story to tell that can be pitched to the media—not bought, not advertorials—press releases are a necessity for both media relations and your brand development, no matter how the media landscape shifts and changes. And it is changing. 

U.S. newsroom employment has fallen 26 percent since 2008, according to Pew Research Center. Reporters are expected to produce more stories with fewer resources.  

When a solid press release lands in their inbox, it can be a valuable tool that helps reporters do their job and cover their beat well, providing the resources to make it easy for them to get into the story.  

Don’t dictate what to cover—understand what they want 

A bad press release, however, can get your email address labeled as spam and your pitches ignored. 

More than 1 out of 4 journalists receive over 100 pitches per week and journalists surveyed said that most of those pitches are irrelevant to their beat, according to Cision’s 2021 Global State of the Media Report. This is an enormous failing on the part of PR “professionals.” 

Putting out your press release on the newswire for journalists to find while researching news on their beat is a standard and important practice. But using a “spray-and-pray” approach to press releases, sending it to every email you can find at every outlet is detrimental to your client’s reputation and your own. 

Companies and organizations must also understand that not every piece of news they have needs a press release. This is important to repeat: not every piece of news warrants a press release. For start-up life science companies, for example, reporters are looking for certain milestones they know are significant. Smaller announcements can be disseminated in other ways that get your news out there without sending a release that turns off a reporter from future pitches. 

Dictating to the media what you think they should cover doesn’t work. In fact, it’s a fool-proof way of not getting coverage. What does work is engaging reporters to understand who they are, their beat, their interests and focus within that beat, and the outlet’s editorial focus. Additionally, it is an ultimate taboo to ever request an editorial review of a reporter’s story. Earned media does not give anyone the right to an editorial review. Paid media, for sure. 

Liftandpublish releases 

Like a good journalism article, there’s an art to writing a press release—and it’s not just “who, what, where, why, when and how,” although you need all that, too. An effective press release positions its story pitch within relevant current events, the landscape of a reporter’s beat, and does so with consistent message through the organization’s voice. 

Headlines in releases require solid hooks, boilerplates need to be concise, and the quotes need to be strong. Reporters are pressed for time and are skilled at scanning and sniffing out whether a release gives them the value and resources they need to do their jobs. And in a day and age when publications don’t have time to cover every story, a well-written release can become a lift-and-publish story for a publication.  

Anticipate the resources a reporter will seek 

A quick way to a reporter’s heart is providing all information upfront and additional materials that will interest them in writing a story. That goes beyond the actual news and quotes to include photos, headshots, logos and artwork, and FAQs that answer basic questions for those unfamiliar with your company. 

These resources also include people available for interviews and research you’ve already undertaken, so that the reporters don’t have to go digging. For instance, if your medtech company is promoting its latest device, a reporter might want to speak to a site clinician utilizing your device in a clinical trial and/or a patient who has used the device. They’ll also need credible data around the device and the issue that it addresses. Providing this upfront so that reporters can immediately dive in dramatically increases your chance of success. 

Additionally, having a media page on your website where all your releases are published alongside these supporting, downloadable materials make your story more likely to be published, and makes reporters view your company as not only as easy to work with but one that is a polished and professional organization. 

Stand out with what reporters care about

Reporters are inundated with releases and have fewer resources to pursue stories. Inspire Agency makes your story standout by bringing our deep relationships built over the years with reporters, understanding what they cover and care about, and building the press release kits that give them everything they need to dive into a story. 

Contact us today and learn how we can help your organization rise above the flood of releases and get the media coverage that you need to grow.

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