4 Ways to Improve the Pick-Up Rate of Press Releases
The media receives numerous press releases and pitches daily. Given the fast work turn-around time and lean resources, it takes more than informative content and interview opportunities to ensure that the news gets picked up.
In a recent PR Newswire webinar, we invited Victor Peng, a news anchor at TVBS, one of Taiwan’s top news channels, to share the news production process and how journalists, like him, select and get information from press releases for their news bulletins.
1. Select the most suitable time period to send press releases
Selecting an optimum time to issue news releases need to revolve around the work schedules of the media. It is favourable to time them to the ‘lull periods’ when time-pressed journalists are relatively free, so that the pick-up rate can be maximized
According to Peng, the deadline for submitting press materials for television stations in Taiwan can be 11am to noon or 6pm – depending on the programme timings. Newspapers typically stop accepting information from 5 to 7pm unless the news is major. As online media prioritizes the timeliness of the news, there isn’t a rigid time-based deadline rule.
In order to facilitate the media’s workflow, Peng advises companies to hold press conferences no later than 10am and end them before 3pm. This gives journalists sufficient time to conduct on-site interviews with spokespersons, ask and check on follow-up questions, write the manuscript and edit videos.
2. Understand the job scope and nature of journalists
A common PR stumbling block is identifying the relevant journalists for different types of news. Peng shares the structure at TVBS News – the broadcast reporters are structured based on their respective beats, which include politics, foreign news and lifestyle. The lifestyle beat, which covers topics such as medical, technology and traffic news, has the largest number of reporters.
Among journalists, there are also varying job titles – from roving reporters who cover day-to-day news to correspondents, who produce specialized long-form reports. The work turnover rate of the roving reporters is higher – they conduct two interviews and produce at least three news articles daily. Peng adds that sending press releases to journalists covering the relevant beats in suitable formats is vital in securing media coverage.
READ MORE: Writing Press Releases in Times of Crisis
3. Provide remote interview opportunities
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the reporting process. The crisis has become a turning point for companies to review and optimize their ways of disseminating information. With movement restrictions, the media has turned to video conferencing tools to conduct interviews remotely. Peng adds that press releases should also feature human-interest personalities or relevant spokesperson who can be interviewed virtually.
4. Enhance press releases with multimedia elements
Broadcast journalists tend to look out for images, videos and audio materials when evaluating if they should pick up the press release. They are constantly looking for ways on how the news can capture the attention of their audiences.
According to PR Newswire’s 2019 Asia-Pacific Media Survey, high-resolution photos, videos and infographics emerge as the top three multimedia elements that journalists prefer to use in their articles. About one in three journalists look out for high-resolution images, while one in four wants to incorporate videos in their stories.
Besides, eye-catching multimedia elements, especially infographics and short-form videos, also tend to get re-posted on the media’s social media accounts. As such, having a wealth of multimedia elements in a press release format such as the Multimedia News Release can increase the chances of getting media coverage.
Watch the on-demand webinar: A Media Dialogue with TVBS in Taiwan
Watch the on-demand webinar: A Media Dialogue with TVBS in Taiwan here
This blog post is written by Kenneth Goh, Senior Marketing Executive at PR Newswire. A former journalist, he relishes keeping track of breaking news as much as telling stories with trends and data. Connect with him via Linkedin.