Just 3% to 45% actually get the word out
PR professionals have been married to traditional news release since Ivy Lee created the news release more than 100 years ago.
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. Dennis L. Wilcox and Lawrence W. Nolte, authors of Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, go further. They estimate that some 55% to 97% of all PR pieces sent to media outlets are never used.
What’s wrong with releases?
Most news releases are:
Most journalists receive more than 50 releases a day, according to a survey by Greentarget. But those releases aren’t useful to their target audiences:
- 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.
2. Poorly written
Most PR pros are bad at pitch writing, according to a study by New York-based DS Simon Productions.
- Television news professionals reported that only 41% of the pitches they receive are good.
- Those TV journalists say that only 33% of the PR people they work with are knowledgeable about the program they’re pitching.
- And pitches are getting “significantly worse” than they used to be, according to 22% of the reporters, editors and analysts surveyed in a Softletterpoll.
That’s too bad. Because writing tops the list of five essential PR skills, according to Wilcox.
As a result, according to Greentarget, journalists turn to other sources for stories:
- 68% of journalists surveyed by Greentarget get their story ideas from sources.
- 41% get ideas from other news outlets.
- Just 34% get them from releases.
Write better releases.
But a well-written release can help you gain media coverage, reach clients and customers directly, get shared as social media content and draw more visitors to your site.
So how can you put your releases among the 3% to 45% of those that actually get the word out?
How can you get your story picked up?
PR professionals have been married to the traditional news release format since Ivy Lee created the release more than 100 years ago. Why, then, do we need a new approach?
With 2,500 releases going out each day — that’s one every 35 seconds — the impact of your traditional news release ain’t what it used to be. In fact, fewer than 50% of all traditional news releases ever get covered, according to PR Newswire’s own research.
Learn to put your PR pieces among the 50% that actually get the word out at NOT Your Father’s PR Writing — our media relations-writing workshop starting Aug. 15.
There, you’ll learn current best PR-writing practices. And you’ll improve your writing with personal feedback and coaching from the Public Relations Society of America’s “national writing coach.”
Save upto $100 with our group discounts.