What Is the Status of Press Releases? Have They Become Outdated?

Understanding how journalists are consuming content is the best way to improve the chances.


Once upon a time press releases were the surest way to get the eyeballs of journalists, news directors and TV/radio producers. But in the fast changing media landscape, this is no longer true.

That’s not to say that press releases are completely outdated, but only to suggest that there is now a vast array of ways to get the attention of the press.

Understanding how journalists are consuming content is the best way to improve the chances that your company and product will get noticed.

Here are five practical things to consider in this brave new world of earned media:

1.   Personal Relationships Are Key

The biggest problem with most press releases is that they seem impersonal.

Because journalists have been trained to spot templates and quick copy and paste jobs, most press releases are ignored. A better approach is investing the time to knowing key journalists in your industry.

It is far more time consuming, but it is the best way to maximize your chances that your press release will not be overlooked.

2.   Take the Extra Step

When sending a press release, make sure that every “i” is dotted and every “t” is crossed.

In other words, detail matters.

As does prose, grammar and spell check. And instead of simply sending out the press release to your media list on its own, consider including a short note communicating the most newsworthy tidbit from the release.

Remember that most journalists are getting dozens of press releases and pitches every day take the extra step to stand out.

3.   Is this Really Newsworthy?

Before sending out that release or calling up that reporter, ask yourself if whatever it is you are promoting newsworthy?

As stated above, reporters are busy and have a ton on their plate. What is compelling about your product and why is it fit for print and broadcast?

In other words, put yourself in the shoes of a reporter and ask these tough questions. With a little extra thinking, you can calibrate your pitch and look for an interesting angle.

The easier you make it for a reporter, the more likely you will generate some ink for your company and brand.

Next- 2 more practical things to consider in this brave new world of earned media:

Israel Ortega
Israel Ortega
Israel Ortega serves as The Heritage Foundation's chief spokesman to Spanish-language news media, including print, radio, television and online. And as editor of Heritage's sister website, Libertad (libertad.org), Ortega is responsible both for the content and for marketing it to a variety of audiences, including media, coalitions and legislators. Ortega regularly contributes commentary to prominent Spanish-language newspapers and online publications. He is a frequent guest commentator on major Spanish radio and television outlets, including Univision, Telemundo and CNN International discussing Heritage’s research and analysis across a range of policy fronts. Ortega writes a monthly column for El Diario La Prensa, the largest and oldest Spanish-language publication in New York City. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal as well as digital venues such as National Review Online, Real Clear Politics, the Daily Caller, the Huffington Post, NBC Latino, Fox News Latino and Latin Business Today.

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