The News Release Isn’t Dead

It isn’t dead … just stop over-using it!

By: Christine Vivoli

Just because a news release is written, it doesn’t automatically guarantee media coverage. To that end, there are a number of materials that we use in order to get the job done.

The news release isn’t the first step in the publicity process. Instead, begin by identify the news, the story you have to tell. Your story must be unique and newsworthy, attractive to the audience that will be receiving the news. Think about the reporter as well as the reporter’s audience.

Once we identify a set of story angles, we move into developing the story’s supporting materials. Every pitch is different, so depending on the angle, audience and overall goals, we’ll determine exactly what we need in our arsenal.

Pitch: A brief (two to three paragraphs, max) email that outlines the story and why the reporter should care.

Media Alert: Used only to promote events, this is a one-page document that highlights the “who”, “what”, “when” and “where”.

Fact Sheet: Used to illustrate quick bites of information when the subject matter is a little heavier or new. We use these most often when it comes to a new product.

News Release: We use news releases ONLY when its big news … a product launch, a new location, a big milestone in the company. But we don’t use news releases to communicate story ideas.

A lot of people have been declaring the news release as “dead” for several years now. In our opinion, that’s a little drastic. While it may not be dead in our eyes, it’s very, very overused and often misunderstood.  At the end of the day, the key message here is that reporters are very busy people and you want your story to get noticed.