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Research Says: How to Get Your News Release Read (And Used) By Reporters

By on Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The  annual PR PowerLines survey of journalists was published in January 2015, and the results offer tips on getting your news release read (and used) by journalists, that can assist small business owners, nonprofit workers or association professionals.

Tip #1 – Send press releases to journalists via email. Email distribution for press releases remains king, with a whopping 88% of reporters saying they prefer releases this way. Only 5% said they want press releases via standard mail and interestingly, 0% said they want to receive releases via social media or wire services. So where should you invest your energy, time, and money? Spend it on making sure you have good email addresses for the journalists you want to work with, and only send them information they want to get.

Tip #2 – Add assets to your release – think backgrounders, bios and images. Eighty-five percent of journalists surveyed said they would like backgrounders, biographies and supporting information with press releases. Seventy-eight percent said they want high-resolution downloadable images.

Tip #3 – Really, really include a high-resolution image (or a link to one) with your press release. High-resolution images (or links so they can be easily downloaded) make it more likely journalists will pick up your news and share it. Seventy-seven percent of respondents said they are more likely to cover a story if it includes images. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they are responsible for creating some online content, so easily transferable assets continue to grow in importance.

Tip #4 – Include more assets with your release if you can (think shareable). Journalists also expressed interest in other assets accompanying releases, including  blogs (47%), information about brand’s social platforms (41%), web quality downloadable video (40%), relevant infographic (40%), embed code for video (38%), downloadable logo (37%), low-resolution downloadable images (33%), and embed code for individual images (33%).

Tip #5 – Make sure your press release has a web presence, BEFORE you send it out. One journalist commented: “Press releases should have a web presence to make them shareable on social media. I’m shocked at how few PR firms understand this basic interaction requirement.” So get your release posted in an online press room, before you hit send. Even if a reporter does not cover the story – maybe you’ll get a tweet!

Talk to Us: What works for you? What do you  include with your news releases?

Ami Neiberger-Miller is a public relations strategist and writer. She is the founder of Steppingstone LLC, an independent public relations practice near Washington, D.C. that provides public relations counsel, social media engagement, writing services, and creative design for publications and websites. She blogs frequently about media relations, social media and work-family balance. She also reviews books on her blog. Follow her on Twitter @AmazingPRMaven.

Thanks to Pixabay for our image.

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