News Releases are Not Magic Potions. Are You Overusing Them?

A news release is not a magic potion for media coverage. image credit: iStock/Jason_V

A news release is not a magic potion for media coverage. image credit: iStock/Jason_V

News releases are not magic potions to cure media coverage ills, and they don’t work alone. Are you guilty of pumping out, “not really news” news releases on inexpensive wire services in hopes of improving your coverage or SEO? Sometimes there is a decent rationale, but please, please, be sure the traffic you get for doing that converts enough that it makes up for the cost, time and possible reputation hit to create and distribute that release.

If it is a truly drab release which everyone in your company knows is a turd, and a credible journalist does a Google search on you and finds that, you don’t get a second chance to leave a first impression. Is there a better vehicle for your message?

Also, be clear about what happens with news releases. Just writing one and putting it over a wire is almost useless to you. You must be pitching pertinent editors and bloggers in your space on the content of that news, and doing it well before you have the release hit the wire.  When you think of pitching that iffy news release to an editor, if you feel content shame–that may tell you this is better as a customer newsletter or a blog post!

Finally, does every release NEED a wire service?  If it is pretty “inside-industry,” maybe not. Maybe putting it on your own site and pitching it to your industry editors is enough.

What are your decision trees regarding news releases, when to write, how to pitch, and what service to use? Let’s discuss!

About Kara Udziela

Kara Udziela created Vibrance in 2006 to unite big agency brainpower with small agency passion and help companies and entrepreneurs who are changing their corners of the world to explode off their web sites, polish their stories and finally get the recognition they deserve on national and international stages. Vibrance launched startups like the now global stock media powerhouse iStockphoto, growing its strategic communications campaigns across 10 countries.

Comments & Feedback:

  1. Kara I think David Ogilvy had the same sentiments in his book, he said if it’s a terrible ad (or release in this case) it’s better you don’t release it. Hard to argue with him or you on that one.

    Sean

  2. Very well put! I think you may be talking to clients too in this post. I’ve seen clients pay to get top postings on PRNewswire or PRWeb just for the heck of it; then wonder why no one picks up the story. I can go on for days about this. I’ll be sure to stop back by to review your two cents some more lol!

    Have a good one :)

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