Once again, we surveyed 200 journalist to ask about their news release preferences and new media usage. (Click here to subscribe to our Powerlines for full results, coming soon). My favorite part of this annual tradition is reading all the great responses journalists give us to our open-ended question. This year, we simply asked what they wanted PR professionals to know about their news release preferences. Here are a few of our favorite responses…
Most commonly, they told us they prefer email and want Releases loaded with easily accessible, relevant content. Regarding email, they said:
Email only. I throw or lose 100 percent of all hard-copy communication. Sending a huge press kit in a folder announces to the world: “I am living in the year 1978.” …
Email is always best; supporting photography that I can easily download (not huge files, please); or, easily accessible links that do not require a computer genius to open, view and download; also, it is always appreciated to be able to quickly have a press/media contact, just in case additional info is needed.
Prefer emails for many reasons: ease of sifting through them, environmentally friendly, have capacity for back and forth conversation as well as links and attachments.
Regarding content, they want easily downloadable images in particular but also want supporting information, contact info, and access to interviewees… all well written and easily accessible, of course. And, they want to access the assets via link, not attachments.
Prefer to receive images with release so I don’t have to ask for them or go download them.
Downlading adds to my time and I have to set up a filing system to make sure they match up with story. Please send high rez for print and low rez for Web. If sending a pdf, make sure you give copy permission so we can copy and place it in our own website or production systems.
Need more access to several images to support the content. A link to jpegs would be useful.
The best releases should include everything you need to know about the news, whatever that might be. I don’t want to have to follow up unless it is necessary to do a larger story.
As in the past, several shared thoughts on what not to include with a releases, most notably attachments and large files.
Do not ever ever, ever send releases by attachment
Mostly in email. We prefer that the press release is written in the body of the email rather than sent as an attachment that we have to download and open.
No large files or attachments
As always, they offered an abundance of general advice as well as their thoughts on Releases in general.
I love press releases
We no longer use snail mail.
New media is good, but traditional media and access to live sources should not be eliminated. An actual phone call or meeting is still vital for reporting on and providing readers/viewers with accurate stories.
Keep it simple. Keep it short. Don’t bother me if you don’t know my market, my interests or my needs. Don’t pretend to be my buddy if you’ve never met me, and above all, be competent.
One twist this year was the number of journalists who gave from and subject line advice:
Email press releases should have product/service in the Subject line. I review beauty products and getting an email with a subject line such as “Spring is in the air” is annoying. Better to say, “New Spring Perfume from Coty” or “Srping 2011 colors from Revlon” etc
An indication in the Email subject line about the region the release pertains to would save time.
The message line on email press release should include company of product name
Check out more stats, charts and responses in full survey coming soon. And next month we’ll share what we learned about new media usage (how many journalists do you think open releases on a smart phone?)