From the Archives: Press Releases: Spray n’ Pray?

Today’s PR Vibes is a repost of one of our blogs that garnered a lot of attention and is still ultra-relevant for marketers today.

The venerable press release is one of the most important aspects of a company’s Public Relations arsenal. When well-written and thoughtfully delivered to the media, it can be an important tool in generating publicity.

All too often, marketers take the “spray n’ pray” approach. They believe that if they simply write a news release and issue it over a major wire service that the media will automatically come knocking on their door to request an interview. In the vast majority of cases, the media will nearly always ignore a news release that is sent without any kind of strategic thinking and elbow grease involved. If the media does not pay attention to what you are saying, you can be rest assured that your intended audience for the news release will not see it either.

The same holds true for using the exact same pitch to reach the reporters and editors (and analysts) that cover the IoT, cloud, mobile, wireless and telecom industries. You can spray n’ pray pitches too, but the results will be less than desirable. The goal should always be quality over quantity (although both quality AND quantity together are nice).

For an example of the volume of news releases that cross a reporter’s desk each day, surf on over to one of the major wire services BusinessWire or PR Newswire and take a look at the sheer number of news releases issued in a given hour. Unless your company is part of the Fortune 500, in most instances your news release will simply be ignored or discarded. The week of a big tradeshow (pre-pandemic), each editor will receive nearly 400 press releases in a day.

Taking the “spray n’ pray” approach to news release distribution is lazy PR. You should absolutely use wire services, as there is no better tool for national or global distribution of a news release. But you need to take it a step further by communicating directly with the media and analysts who may be interested in covering your company’s announcement. That means you need the relationships with reporters and editors that can only be forged over time.

If you’ve got some news to waste and some cash to burn, give “spray n’ pray” a try. Be sure to cross your fingers, too – your news will need all the help it can get to grab an already inundated editor’s attention. But if you want strong results, put in the legwork to draft an eye catching pitch and build relationships with key media and analysts. That will get you the results you desire.

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