Why Press Releases are becoming more important to the hard pressed media

March 15, 2011

The Media Standards Trust has recently launched a new initiative and website to “help the public distinguish between journalism and churnalism”. “Churnalism” is the growing practice, whereby a press release is “cut and pasted” into a publication without any editing, qualifying or corroboration. This phenomenon has come about as a result of newspaper, magazine and broadcast operations vastly reducing the number of reporters and sub-editors within their organisations, to counteract and compete with the low overheads of Digital / Internet / Online publishing. This is particular problem in the regions, where the four main regional newspaper players Trinity Mirror, Johnson Press, Northcliffe and Newsquest have spent the last five years slashing journalists jobs as part of ongoing cost-cutting exercises aimed at making outlets more profitable.

The ramifications of all of this is that there is an even greater need for press releases to be well written and crafted as press releases are often used ad verbatim in local newspapers and on local radio in particular. Time pressed journalists often don’t have time to embellish a story delivered via a press release, and unless it’s well written and ready to go, it will quickly find itself in the electronic equivalent of the litter bin, marked “Trash”!!

A further implication of having less journalists in the local print and broadcast media, is that nowadays it is far more difficult to command the attention of any journalist, in order for them to address the merits of your press release. The process of gaining media attention is more difficult than ever. It is a rare skill that requires a true understanding of what the journalist or publication are looking for.

Unless there is an incredibly strong general interest or topical / news hook to your consumer or business story, then the best approach is to try and cultivate a relationship and rapport with the key editorial contacts at your local newspaper, or in the appropriate trade and consumer press. This of course is time consuming, as it does not happen over night ( unlike the printing of the Morning newspaper!! ). Like all business relationships, a rapport with a journalist is nurtured over a period of time.

If you can afford it, it is far better to employ a Public Relations Practioner or Consultant to construct and write the Press Release and distribute it to your designated media. A specialist PR Consultant or Agent will not only write the Press Release to a high literary standard, but will also know which buttons to press ( if you will pardon the pun!! ) with journalists and editors, in order to get the story published.

For more information on Rhetoric’s Public Relations services, including our cost effective Press Release, Article and Newsletter Writing services, click here……   http://www.rhetoric-artofpersuasion.com/services/

If you wish to write your own press releases, you can find some tips, by clicking on this link…… http://www.rhetoric-artofpersuasion.com/services/press-releases/top-ten-tips-on-writing-an-effective-press-release/

Alternatively, if you are an SME ( Small / Medium Enterprise / Company ) and you require help with your PR & Marketing, we would be happy to assist you. For further information…….. www.rhetoric-artofpersuasion.com/marketing-for-small-businesses/

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