April 13, 2017
/ by Jennifer Tolhurst
Companies issue a news release when they have a job to do: to spread the message of a product launch, an exciting corporate expansion, or the addition of a new executive. But it’s important to keep in mind that their audience, the media, also has a job to do. And that’s exactly where the goals of journalists and brand communicators intersect. Companies have a story to tell, and the media needs to tell a story.
According to Cision’s 2017 State of the Media Report, journalists continue to experience shrinking news teams and constricting budgets. They continually and progressively have to “do more with less.” That opens up an earned media opportunity for communicators, because journalists still rank news releases as one of their most valuable resources, in this environment of cutbacks.
Armed with this insight, it’s in the best interest of brand communicators to ensure their news release helps journalists do their job, in the face of limited time and resources. That means following a few key strategies to increase the chance of earned media pick-up.
Package up all newsworthy elements Journalists look for a few mandatory elements to build a story, including colorful quotes, images or video, and supporting data. If your press release includes all those elements in one neat package, it allows journalists to tell an engaging story, easily. Don’t make journalists go digging for multimedia or supplemental financial data – they may decide your story is not worth the effort.
Target your audience In Cision’s 2017 State of the Media Report, more than half of respondents said a pitch that lines up with their past work and interests is what drove them to pursue a story. That means journalists – like all of us – don’t want to be spammed by information that isn’t of use in their day-to-day work.
PR Newswire’s editorial specialists categorize every release that we send by industry and subject matter (automotive, earnings, acquisitions, etc.). Media points are then able to customize their feed, enabling them to receive only what is in their area of interest. As a result, that increases the chance for that release to receive quality coverage because it goes to the journalists that want to see it most.
Do some legwork for journalists This year’s State of the Media Report proved that multimedia is growing exponentially in importance for journalists. As they try to make their content more interactive and share-able for their audiences, journalists are incorporating more elements like images, videos, and infographics. Cision also found that in this environment of dwindling budgets, journalists rely more on newswires and stock imagery and less on staff photography.
So it’s worth repeating: pack your release full of everything needed to tell your story, especially any related multimedia in the form of brand logos, headshots, product shots, or videos.
Use a trusted distribution service State of the Media respondents ranked press releases and story leads first in most valuable resources, for the second year in a row. And they expressed more distrust of social media, with 7 percent fewer agreeing that social media is a reliable resource for information than last year.
That means it’s more important than ever to ensure your company news is communicated via a trusted channel, like PR Newswire. Doing so eliminates the initial hurdle of journalists having to vet the source. Instead, they know PR Newswire works directly with clients to issue reliable, attributed information.
Once your content is ready to be shared, let PR Newswire / Cision help you connect with journalists to generate quality earned media coverage of your brand news.
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