How Does The Media Use A Press Release?

A lot of time and energy is spent on the creation and distribution of press releases. You write them for journalists and follow the formalized structure, but does the media really care? How exactly do they use a press release and what are the chances your release will get picked up for a story?

Journalists Actually Do Use Press Releases

The truth of the matter is that journalists use press releases in a few different ways. Occasionally, they see a press release and they are inspired to write a story. More often than not they view these press releases through the newswires or via online press release distribution streams.

If a journalist or media representative does receive a press release via email and does decide to run a story on it, it’s because the press release perfectly fit their niche, was extremely well written, and they haven’t already written a story on it.

The takeaway… if you’re going to directly submit a press release to a journalist, make darned sure you’ve done your homework on that person. Most journalists receive 500 or more press releases a day. You have to not only know who you’re targeting and what they’re interested in, you also have to make sure your release impresses them.

The other way that journalists use press releases is as a source of information. Believe it or not, they may have a great story idea that fits your niche or industry. They begin digging and pulling the pieces of the story together using information that you provided in your press release. For example, if a journalist is doing a local piece on outdoor exercising they might start looking for local companies that offer boot camps. A press release on a new park boot camp fitness program may be just the information they were looking for.

This means press releases serve two purposes. They can help you get the media attention you’ve been seeking. However, it might not happen like you think. The most important thing to remember is that journalists only respond to well written, succinct, and newsworthy press releases. Whether it crosses their desk or they find it during research, a good press release is a must.

The other takeaway is that you just don’t know when your press release is going to grab the attention that you want. Continue to create and distribute top notch press releases. While you’re winning over the media, you’re also helping to increase awareness for your company and that’s always a good thing.

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