Delete or display? The time it takes for a journalist to decide on the success of failure of your press release is less than about two seconds.
For a busy national newspaper executive on a busy news desk the task of scanning through hundreds, thousands of the daily deluge of press releases is a laborious one.
The task is never taken lightly for somewhere, hidden within the swamp of releases that flood into email inboxes whereas they once flooded post boxes will be the odd gem of a story that makes it worthwhile.
But to find the nugget of information the journalist is made to work far harder than necessary and the odds of attracting their attention or more importantly generating column inches is gone before they even had a chance.
There are many dos and do nots but unlike the majority of PR agencies Onside PR founder James Fletcher brings a unique insight into the world of the press release from the side of the journalist.
Having wasted far too many hours trudging through utter nonsense to try and find the story in the press release, having tried desperately to lead PRs to water over the phone and make them realise they did actually have a story but just hadn’t noticed it and received far too many ‘Hi, how are you today?’ calls from otherwise total strangers he decided to swap sides and show them how it should be done.
In theory the production of a press release should be an straightforward task. You are a business or person with something to say. So tell the subject what that thing is and when it is, or if it has happened how it went, what happened?
Yet for far too many businesses a simple press release can generate countless headaches – or huge bills depending on which PR company they turn too.
Turning to a PR agency or marketing firm is supposed to make life easier. After all, they are the experts, they know what they are doing and have contacts in the media? Don’t they?
Well, tragically not and from the production of thousands of press release material I read during my time at The Daily Mirror you wonder whether some have even bothered speaking to the client they are supposed to represent.
Journalists reading press releases on a national newspaper have less than two seconds to make a decision on your release. Get to the point. The story is x or y. They like it and read on they press delete.
Know which journalists to target. Don’t annoy a journalist who specialises in health by sending a press release about DIY – unless of course it is a story about the number of accidents created by DIY enthusiasts or a way of preventing such accidents.
There is nothing more certain to guarantee your press release makes it to the trash can without passing Go or collecting £200 than if you annoy a journalist contact and wasting a journalist time is a sure fire way to do that.
So, think carefully about what you want to say, who you want to say it too and when you need your message to be heard – or of course you could simply contact Onside PR for press release production.
From individual press releases to longer standing commitments Onside PR will use our journalistic background to produce quality copy which absolutely will ensure your message is heard by the people who will be interested and in a way by which they will at least read it.
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