Tips on News Releases from Journalists Themselves

New releases are an essential part of the everyday lives of public relations professionals. The content of news releases has remained the same for several years, but the medium by which they are delivered to journalists and desired added extras have shifted. When those who work in public relations make it easy for journalists and news sources to access and read information, their stories are more likely to be covered. Thus, articles like “Journalists in their own words: on news releases” by PWR New Media offer valid and valuable information for public relations professionals nationwide:

Journalists shared useful information about how the media is evolving and how news releases fit into the picture:

Press releases must evolve to the new needs of media.

A variety of respondents praised email, citing the ability to archive, respond quickly, and get accessible content:

Email is king!

As editor, I will only use press releases via e-mail. I cut and paste instead of retype.

If a release is being e-mailed (preferred), the format should be easy to copy and paste, some write-ups need a lot of editing and time is important, which those take a lot of time.

Image Credit: “Daily Telegraph Newsroom” by Lloyd Davis

But while email is preferred, there is frustration with PR professionals who send attachments and large files (and docx files). They prefer links and well organized, easily accessible assets:

If you send it via e-mail, please include website URLs and put the text in the e-mail itself, not in an attachment. Please don’t ever make me download a pdf release from a site, just put the text and links to images, etc. up.

Although I prefer getting press releases via email, I can no longer deal with the amount of images and PDFs that are sent to me. So, I prefer to receive lookbooks or lengthy press kits on paper, or be able to request an electronic version.

Easy access to images, high and low res, is particularly important:An image and logo on the first contact press release is IMMENSELY helpful.

Some journalists share tips regarding best writing, subject lines, headlines, and formatting:

Wording and phrasing in AP style would be extremely helpful.

Releases should be short and sweet with relevant attachments and bulleted information.

And a few just share etiquette advice:

Stop the phone calls, please.

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