Because fewer than 50% of releases actually get the word out
PR professionals have been married to the traditional PR writing approach since Ivy Lee created the news release in 1906.
Why, then, do we need a new approach?
With an estimated 3,000 releases going out over the wires each day — that’s one every 29 seconds — the impact of your traditional PR piece ain’t what it used to be.
In fact, fewer than 50% of all traditional PR pieces ever get covered, according to PR Newswire’s own research.
Most journalists receive more than 50 releases a day, according to a survey by Greentarget. But most of those releases don’t focus on usefulness to readers:
- Most trade magazine editors surveyed said fewer than half of the releases they receive are relevant to their publication, according to a survey by Thomas Rankin Associates.
- 65% to 75% of city editors surveyed believed press releases promote “products, services and other activities that don’t legitimately deserve promotion,” write Wilcox and Nolte.
- No wonder journalists’ biggest pet peeves are releases that don’t pertain to their beats or aren’t relevant to the audiences they serve, according to the Greentarget survey.
As a result, according to Greentarget, 70% of journalists spend less than one minute on the average release. And just 34% of journalists find story ideas in releases. (One quarter of journalists find quotes to be the least important element in the release — after the dateline and boilerplate.)
So how can PR and communications professionals create successful PR pieces that are among the 3% to 45% of those that actually get the word out?
How can you write PR pieces that get covered?
Some 55% to 97% of all releases sent to media outlets are never used, according to Dennis L. Wilcox and Lawrence W. Nolte’s Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques.
Learn how to write PR copy that editors won’t be able to pass up at NOT Your Father’s PR Writing — our media relations-writing workshop starting Aug. 15.
There, you’ll learn how to go beyond “new and improved” to develop story angles that readers want to read … and that journalists and bloggers want to run.
Save up to $100 with our group discounts.