We surveyed more than 100 journalists around the world at major newspapers, radio and TV stations, magazines and news wire services. While there were slight variations based on region on some issues, there was one unimaous finding: they don’t think the press releases and pitch materials that PR people send them are very good. In fact, 90% said that what they receive is deleted after only reading the email subject line – never opening the email.
Which makes this all the more troubling as the value of positive press coverage in outlets like The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Economist, CNBC and Harvard Business Review is enormous, especially when you then take that press coverage and amplify it further through social media. Those two present the greatest ROI in raising brand awareness.
I am not saying abandon the press, but let’s be smarter in working with them. Here are seven tips to consider in writing a press release for the purpose of getting a journalist to use it:
And if you are considering hiring a PR firm, make sure that your account person knows what is newsworthy (and can demonstrate past success in the area), and is creative enough to make something newsworthy when it isn’t.