Yes Virginia, Journalists Do Really Want Your Press Release

In 1897 an eight-year-old girl namedVirginiawrote to theNew York CitySun newspaper with the question, “Is there a Santa Claus?”  The resulting editorial promising that such an idea of goodness and possibility did really exist became the most reprinted editorial in the history of the English language.

Flash forward over a hundred years — many small business marketers and PR Pros look at their press release distribution and wonder in Virginiaesque fashion, “Do journalists really want my press release?”  The answer is happily a resounding “yes.”

Here are 4 reasons why:

1.       Journalists Can’t Cover Everything Themselves

Today it is physically impossible to keep up with the volume of information on the net.  Journalists covering your industry are scrambling to keep up with the latest news and relevant topics.

This is where your press release distribution comes in.  Your unique take on the business or your trend-setting solutions may be just what that harried writer needs to do his job.

2.       You Know Your Business Best

While writers that cover specific topics such as technology or culture have a solid knowledge of their areas, they don’t know everything about your contributions to the marketplace.  Most likely they also don’t have the extensive record of hands on experience that you or your clients do.

In other words, they need an expert to quote or to give insight to topics.  Your press release can do just that.

3.       You Have A Story

It’s not an easy task coming up with a consistent press release distribution schedule, but imagine how hard it is to come up with compelling stories about the same industry daily or weekly?

A journalist’s currency is good stories.  The better your story, the higher your value to them.

4.       You Make Journalists Look Good

Every journalist is looking for a scoop.  Your press release can be the genesis for their next great piece.  In addition, when you provide writers with a steady stream of relevant, valuable content, you build your relationship with them.

They need you to do their job well and when you serve as a trusted resource, they are more likely to eagerly look for your press releases.

So go forth in your press release distribution secure in the knowledge that you are providing as essential a service for those journalists as they are for you.

Have you found an especially effective way to boost your press release distribution?  We’d love to hear your input.  Share it here.

Stacey Acevero is the social media community manager of PRWeb. She is all about creative social media marketing ideas as well as building the PRWeb brand. An early adopter of social media, Stacey was news-on-demand project manager and a 4-year veteran of our Vocus media research center before joining our marketing team. She attended the University of Maryland at College Park, majoring in communication.

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  • Anonymous

    Good idea but many journos do not respond, what to do?

    • If a journalist doesn’t respond, then your news didn’t resonate with them. In some cases it’s alright to follow up, but that usually means you need to take a different approach and tailor your news more. 

      • Anonymous

        Thank you! 🙂

  • Greg Peters

    Yes Virgina, most press releases stink … but there’s hope

    As a former newspaper assignments editor, here’s what you really need to know if you’re going to impress busy journalists. Just the facts, ma’am, cut the fluff. 

    Start with bullet points: who, what, where, when and how to contact the organizer and yourself via phone, email, Facebook and Twitter.

    Save the “whys” and “hows” for your following paragraphs. Whatever you do, don’t let your boss or the tech wonks write your release. Too much jargon and unnecessary information usually gets included when you do that.

    Be sure to include prime times when things are going on at your event and not just an overall schedule.

    Be sure to highlight the important people, and if they are available for interviews or pre-interviews.

    Most importantly, if you just sent the bullet points most assigning editors would kiss the ground you walk on. It’s that simple.

  • Rick Clancy

    In this age of always-on digital media, social networks and SEO, I agree and believe press releases are actually more valuable than ever before.  A great tool that’s kept its edge!

  • 95% of P.R are mainly uninteresting propaganda for businesses, causes etc. 5% have an element of interest for the journalists. Journalists received hundreds of PR per day in their inboxes, desks etc… It would take them a whole day sifting through them without doing any work… the secret is rarely in the content of the P.R…very often it’s only a matter of ” do you know the journalist – or editor – who will (accept to) write about your story”.

  • Zoe

    Is that really the case Stacey? I can’t help feeling I agree with Antoine’s comments from personal experience. I think it’s more likely the right time the right story knowing the right person!

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