In today’s media world, journalists are being pulled in many different directions, receiving hundreds of pitches a day via phone, email, text, and social media, just to name a few. For public relations and communication professionals, it’s becoming more challenging to get a journalist’s attention.
How do you catch a reporter’s eye? Business Wire’s media survey revealed the three most important elements of a news release are multimedia assets such as video, pictures, logos, and infographics (57%); contact information (51%); and company background (38%).
Furthermore, our survey respondents shared that when covering a specific industry, relevant and well-curated search results are essential to their research. Crafting a press release with those requirements in mind will benefit media and public relations professionals alike. One of our surveyed reporters shared: “Permanence. It’s very valuable to me that this information comes directly from the issuing company and isn’t altered or wiped off the internet. It is a key verification tool.”
By nature, humans are visual creatures. Half of the human brain is directly or indirectly devoted to processing visual information. Images in your press releases drive interest and attention to your story. Not to mention, multimedia also helps journalists visualize what the story will look like in print or online.
By including contact information, you make it easy for reporters to get in touch. It gives journalists a main source to connect with the organization directly, whether they want to verify facts or obtain additional content or company information.
The company background or “boiler plate” of a press release is one of the most important elements, as it provides journalists with context about an organization. A good one has high-level background on a company, contains SEO benefits, and includes hyperlinks to a company newsroom or website so that reporters can learn more about products, services, awards, recognitions, company stats, and more.
Importance of a Press Release
Our survey also asked reporters: “When vetting and doing research on an organization, where do you look?” 73% of our respondents said they look at an organization’s press release. This reveals that press releases are still a credible and objective asset for reporters. They also serve as a great source for fact-checking by helping journalists identify the main company contact and background information.
In today’s media climate, it’s more important than ever for journalists to research their pitches and vet their sources . As mentioned in our blog post about the challenges of the modern journalist, 46% of journalists see a lack of trust in the news as the biggest challenge in modern journalism. A respondent added this as a main concern: “The internet, being the way it is, means people do a two-minute research on YouTube and think they know more than an article with tons of evidence and credibility.”
Recently, Business Wire wrote a blog post on “How to Write a News Release” and created a how-to guide on “Writing a Reporter-Friendly News Release” to highlight key elements for a strong news release. These elements include: 1) bold and blunt headline, 2) sub-headline with a hook, 3) multimedia, 4) readable body copy, and 5) contact information.
The bottom line is, to get a journalist’s attention today, your news release should include multimedia, contact information, company background, and should be relevant to what they cover. With this in mind, don’t forget to add social media tools into your communications, as journalists are also looking into LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook pages when researching an organization. By including these essential elements, you will create an engaging press release that will truly drive results.
Read more insights from the 2020 Business Wire Media Survey on our blog.
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