Believe it or not, news releases (aka press releases) have been around for over a hundred years. As the media landscape has evolved over the last century, so have the best practices for distributing a news release.
In today’s world, reporters are expected to churn out multiple stories (sometimes numerous articles per day) to meet story requirements. With reporters juggling multiple stories and deadlines, they have less time to spend on their stories. In fact, due to the time restrictions, reporters conduct interviews via emails and/or pulling information from company websites, blogs and you guessed it, news releases.
Press releases help reporters – if they’re done correctly. Here are some tips to bolster your news release strategy:
- Make Sure What You Are Saying Is Newsworthy
It may sound silly, but some organizations distribute multiple news releases every single month or week! Don’t churn out a news release every week … unless you truly have worthwhile updates to share.
If you’re just sending out news releases to check things off a list, reporters and editors will quickly grow tired and ignore your emails. This harms your organization’s credibility, and even worse, when you do have actual news, they may pass due to the constant news release “spam” you’ve sent in the past.
Before sending a news release out, think about the announcement through the eyes of a reporter. Is there news or is this self-serving? What’s the purpose of this news release and why is it important to share with the media? These questions will drastically improve your strategy, even if it cuts down the amount of releases you distribute.
- Provide Value
A news release should provide your targeted audience with value. When a reporter writes a story – he or she I thinking, “Why will my readers care about this topic? What value will it bring my readers?”
Keep your audience in mind when drafting your news release. If it provides key content and value – reporters will be appreciative and more receptive to your news.
But, don’t just stop there. This is also your opportunity to position executives of your company as thought leaders. Get creative with quotes. Use them to showcase the future of your industry, the relevancy of the news highlighted in the announcement, or provide a comment on an important issue (as long as its relevant to the news).
You’ll also have a better chance of having a quote featured if it’s not generic and creative.
- Build a Targeted Media List
Don’t just send your news release to every reporter you’ve found online or have exchanged emails with in the past.
The ultimate purpose of a news release is to get it in front of potential customers. To get in front of that audience and gain third party credibility through the media, it’s imperative to do your due diligence and research relevant reporters before you begin your outreach.
Think about reporters you have an existing relationship with. Are their reporters who have covered your organization in the past? Are their new reporters that your target audiences follow?
Rather than blast a news release to hundreds of contacts, build a concise targeted list. You’ll be more successful in your outreach and have a specific list of key reporters for future news releases.
These three tips are just the tip of the iceberg for news release strategy. However, if you master these three steps, you will vastly improve your organization’s news release strategy.