Press releases are widely used as a tool of public relations. Press releases, which provide individuals, ornagizations or companies exposure on magazines, newspapers, news sites and blogs, are oriented towards image and reputation. When maintained at a certain pace, these efforts, which strengthen the bond between the organisation and the press, provide added exposure. There are many reasons why journalists don't consider press releases, which must be written in a certain format, to be news-worthy.
Editors and journalists deal with hundreds of press releases every day. Journalists need to be picky and end up throwing most press releases into the waste bin. Press releases need to be written following a certain set of rules for the press release to be noticed and used by journalists. Detailed information about how to write press releases is available in our post "How to Write a Press Release". Please see the reasons, why a press release might be excluded from being featured on newspapers, magazines or news sites, listed below.
The biggest reason why journalists skip on press releases is the lack of a striking headline. The first visible section of the press release is its header. Editors and journalists usually pay attention initially to the header only when going through their e-mails. In order for the press release to be read, the headline must be striking and stand out. No matter how good the content is, no matter how news-worthy it is, a weak headline will be the end of it. You can read about how a headline should be in our post titled "A Knock-Their-Socks-Off Headline is What Makes a Press Release".
Another factor with a toll on the press release is content that feels more like an ad than news. Editors and journalists have limited time on their hands, so they usually take a quick look through press releases. And if they notice that corporations, individuals or ornagizations are mentioned too often and undue praises keep making an appearance and that the press release isn't news-worthy, they will just skip it and the press release will find its way to the waste bin. Press releases, which feature subjective statements and a tone that resembles ads, will not be taken into consideration.
Press releases must be news-worthy to be considered as news pieces. The press release may follow all the rules, but if it's not news-worthy, journalists will just move on to the next one. The press release must not contradict journalism's fundamental principle of disclosure, but rather follow it.
Incomplete information will just cause the journalist to have disbelief. Press releases must answer the questions What, Where, When, How, Why and Who, following the 5W + 1H rule. Completeness of the information provided in the press release is a vital factor or it to be considered news-worthy.
Any irrelevant or outdated visuals accompanying the press release will decrease its chances of being considered news-worthy. Editors and journalists do not like to waste time looking for visuals for the press release that they will feature. Therefore, the accompanying visuals must be high-res and relevant.
Press releases are usually written using fancy words for editors and journalists to consider them news-worthy. Press releases featuring the journalist's name instead of stereotypical phrases when addressing the journalist will stand out. Addressing the journalists by their names increases the press release's chances of being taken into consideration.
Another reason why press releases don't make it into the news is irrelevant submissions. Preparation, distribution and reporting of the press release is a complete process. Any hiccups in these stages will cause a press release to fail. Fields of interest of journalists must be taken into consideration when distributing press releases. Journalists must be sent press releases that fit into their fields. A press release about R&D investments being submitted to a medical journalist will not only reflect on the image of the company poorly but also result in the press release being thrashed.
The distribution stage must be diligently implemented for the press release to be successful. It must be addressed to the right places and the right journalists, and also at the right time. E-mails sent outside business hours or during the lunch break have a lower chance of being read. Press releases submitted on special days and holidays have a lower chance of being considered news-worthy.
Writing, distributing and reporting the press release must follow many rules and values. Press releases, which require a professional touch and team effort, reinforces the ties between your company and the press, boosting your exposure.
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