In a time when social media has taken over by way of 140 character snippets, I’ve heard a lot of discrepancy about the value of a press release. If you think it’s too old school, think again..but don’t take my word for it. Take it straight from the source: a travel editor with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with for years. She uses press releases all the time. And she’s not the only one.
When thoughtfully written, a press release is quite useful to a journalist. Here are just a few reasons why:
A press release can make their job easier: bringing facts to a writer cuts down on their workload because you’ve essentially done the research for them. (Just make sure your facts are 100% correct before sending out your release to avoid embarrassment!)
A press release can provide inspiration: if a writer is brainstorming new story ideas to propose to his/her editor, your release may just spark an ah-ha moment. Make sure to maintain a ‘what’s in it for them?’ attitude as you craft your copy.
A press release can spark a relationship: PR people need journalists, but journalists need good PR people too. Prove that you’ve taken the time to learn what the writer you’re speaking with covers, and make sure to tend to their needs in a timely manner. Do this, and you may just find writers coming to you when they feel your company might be a good fit for something they’re working on.
What’s the take away here? When PR people do their job well and demonstrate respect for a writer’s time, they’re more likely to reap the rewards of great editorial coverage. And as for the writer referenced above, I’ll give you a little tip – she writes for trade publications, so if your hotel had a cute Leap Year Proposal package this year, she shouldn’t have been on your media list.