How Do Journalists Use Press Releases?
Digitalization has drastically changed the work of journalists. However, press releases are still a crucial source of information for them. Press releases provide businesses and groups with a successful means of communicating.
How do journalists use press releases to inform their articles? They may extract new information, quotes, or even use a press release as a means of inspiration for a new article. If a journalist is sent exciting news that is relevant to their beat, they may even contact the author for an exclusive interview.
Press releases are intended to publicize a company and disseminate vital information. Every company yearns for credibility. A press release is a great strategy to increase credibility.
Every time you have anything significant or exciting to communicate, you should issue one. Here is a list of newsworthy items that you can include in your press release:
- Breaking news. Donate to news organizations. Journalists will be able to publish breaking news as soon as possible.
- Events. Give journalists a topical and engaging topic to cover for their viewers. They also aid in raising interest in that event!
- Partnerships. The media might want to know if you collaborate with another business. Your partner and you both benefit from it.
- Research. No one wants to read a data report that is dull, so remember to add some flavor to your data and original ideas.
- Awards. Be proud to share your accomplishments!
- New executive hires. This is more important for bigger businesses and organizations, but when a new employee joins a team, it can be big news.
- Crisis control. The significance of a press release only grows when things go wrong. You have the chance to start off the story by narrating it in your own words.
Ensure your audience will have an interest in what you have to say. This significantly increases the likelihood that your press release will receive media attention.
Social media has always struck journalists as a decent place to start when looking for information and inspiration. Even though social media can be helpful, journalists still need to use traditional methods to check the information they get and follow up with sources they find online.
The same applies to press releases.
Press releases can introduce you to the information you were unaware of. But if you only use press releases and don’t do your own reporting, you might miss important details that make the picture more complete. Anyone can quote or paraphrase from a release. You have the expertise to go further because you are a reporter.
Discussion with the Editor on the Use of Quotes or Paraphrases from Press Releases
Discuss the best way to handle press releases with your editor, regardless of how experienced you are as a reporter. What are the standards and how do you usually address them in your newsroom? Is it acceptable for you to paraphrase or quote your editor? What about using their words without giving them credit?
By having conversations about how to use press releases, you may have a better understanding of what is and isn’t acceptable in your newsroom. If you disagree with the way your newsroom handles press releases, talk to your editor about your concerns. It doesn’t necessarily have to (or should) remain that way just because your newsroom has been doing something a specific way for years.
It makes sense for press releases to be used in stories as long as the journalist tells the readers where they got the information. The readers will know where the material came from if it is included in the attribution.
Check the Value of the News Release
When you get a press release, think about whether or not the news is important to the people you want to reach. Does the release merit a quick blog post? A lengthier tale? A shorter follow-up narrative and a post? Added substance? Absolutely nothing? (At PressReach we’ve employed each of these strategies.)
Journalists who are interested usually take the time to read the whole press release, unless it has nothing to do with the topic. That simplifies their determination of whether it contains anything newsworthy.
They will write a brief article and quote the entire release if it has current and important information that I want to spread fast. To make it clear that it is not their own words, they will say that it is a release and separate it into a block quote. Reporting can then commence if the release isn’t particularly time-sensitive and you want to write a story about it.
Do the details in the release reflect reality? Do names have the proper spelling? Does there exist a regional angle that might interest your audience? What is omitted from the narrative? Do the details in the release match what you already know or have heard? Who else should you contact if you want further details? Is there a risk that this announcement is fake? Smart questions can help you report with more accuracy.
Own the Narrative
Make the story stand out by using your own voice in it rather than just quoting or paraphrasing a release. The language used in releases is probably much less conversational and interesting than your voice.
If you want quotes that are different from the ones that everyone else will have, then get in touch with the person who provided the release or the people who were mentioned in it. When appropriate, provide context and analysis to help the release advance. If these tips are followed, the outcome will be pleasant.
Look for Ways to Improve Next Time
When a journalist gets a news release about something that is related to a subject, it is courteous of them to always respond and thank the person who sent it out. Encourage the sender to keep sending releases. It just might be a good time to tell the person that it would be beneficial to learn about the material in advance of its release.
This doesn’t always work, but sometimes it does, especially if you promise to keep the story to yourself until it’s published. If a public relations person gives you information before putting out a release, you’ll have more time to do reporting and interviews.
You will have an advantage over those who are learning about the information in the release for the first time if you take these actions.
Featured Image- Pexels @ brotiN biswaS