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Three Pillars of Press Releases that Attract Journalists

I work at PR Newswire where I read news releases daily and see how brands curate their newsworthy content for delivery to thousands of journalists. At breakfast earlier this week, a friend asked for examples where brand-related social media postings were noticed and covered by journalists.

My reply was that there were a few isolated examples I could recall where a social media posting went viral and covered by well-known publications. Of course, his next question was, “Why?”.

Surveys have shown that getting journalists are typically sceptical of social media newsfeeds, with just 10% of APAC respondents listing social media as the most trusted sources when writing a news report. As an example, this Singapore video was covered by the local press due to a happy combination of having access to a professionally trained band, a large production budget, and thousands of staff sharing this video with their friends. What if you do not enjoy such resources while seeking to create buzz around your brand or products through public relations (PR) or social media? A press release is an option to get your brand’s curated content to the eye level of the relevant journalists and subsequently to a target audience.

However, your brand can also tap on these three key pillars of storytelling used by the most popular brand-related social media content to put together a press release that is more likely to attract the attention of journalists:

  • Personify your brand and product
  • Leverage multimedia to engage your audience
  • Catch your audience at the right time
  1. Personify your brand and product

Communications has been described as telling your customers what they can expect from your brand’s products and services. So how do you communicate this message in a concise and memorable manner in a press release to differentiate your brand from others?

Henry’s Grill & Bar (Bali, Indonesia) personified its brand and products by highlighting in a press release that it teamed up with Danny Chaney, a leading steak chef, to introduce a combination of imported and local Bali produce. This release also features a picture of a signature menu item.


Three Pillars of Press Releases that Attract JournalistsSource: Henry’s Grill & Bar

Subsequently, this press release was republished by more than 100 publications including The Concierge Asia (featuring travel and the finer things in life) and Singapore-based AsiaOne (there are 7,200 weekly flights between Indonesia and Singapore).

  1. Leverage Multimedia to engage your audience

In the age of “best content wins”, your audience is inundated with similar content to choose from. HubSpot reported in 2016 that two out of five readers skim online content and may not read your press release in full. Rather than assume journalists read your entire press release, it is a good strategy to include multimedia content to reinforce your news announcement.

Multimedia can come in a wide range of formats:

  • Pictures provide a visual representation of your brand.
  • Infographics demonstrate your brand’s expertise in your industry.
  • Videos provide an engaging visual and sound clip to tell your audience what they need to know about your news.

Naturally, such content is also more social-media friendly and allows your brand to reach out to a wider pool of journalists.  Archipelago International (Indonesia’s largest operator of hotels, condotels, resorts, serviced suites and branded residences) coordinated with its press release with Instagram postings to broadcast a milestone deal (long-term Master Franchise Agreement) with a Saudi Arabian partner that is one of the largest listed companies on the Saudi Stock Exchange.

Three Pillars of Press Releases that Attract Journalists

Source: Archipelago International

Plain and simply, while words can paint pictures, just one picture paints a thousand words. Multimedia content allows us to tell our story better. And when captivating visual content is combined with a well-written press release, we can expect to pique journalists’ interest and connect them with our brand.

–          Erika Anggreini, Director of Marketing, Archipelago International

  1. Catch your audience at the right time

Themed content combined with a sense of timing will help a news release enjoy attention from journalists and an extended news lifecycle. Festivals such as Christmas are one driver but there are additional occasions that will attract journalists, such as an annual industry exhibition.

Take online travel agent Agoda as an example, who regularly schedules press releases about the top destinations of its customers in the lead-up to festivals such as New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year. Such news tends to be covered by travel media that are keen to provide data-driven recommendations to its readers who are looking to travel on short notice and more receptive to an online travel agent that offers quick comparison of destinations and airfares. By tailoring your news angle, you are winning journalists’ attention to reach your target audience.

Therefore, I recommend creating an editorial calendar on your industry to help you to find news angles for content planning purposes. To get a head-start, you may refer to this 2019 editorial calendar targeted at PR and communications professionals.

Three Pillars of Press Releases that Attract Journalists

As you can see from the above examples, successful press releases may tap on more than one of these three pillars (personification of your brand and product, strategically placed multimedia, and well-timed themed content). Be creative, stay hungry and your press release will be poised to attract journalists and target audience!

To learn more about Sharing Your Press Release with the World, visit the link below on the Cision website.

Three Pillars of Press Releases that Attract Journalists

This blog post is written by Jx Tan is PR Newswire’s Head of Content – APAC. He is a MSc (Marketing & Consumer Insight) graduate from the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.