New research confirms why journalists ignore media releases

why journalists ignore media releases

A new research by global e-Newsroom leader Wieck Australasia suggests that unless businesses up their game, the vast majority of media releases sent to journalists will continue to end up in the bin.

The survey provides crucial information business owners can use to their advantage if they’re keen to get a mention in the media.

Journalists are so time-poor and under-resourced, the research shows, that they take less than 10 seconds to decide whether they will read your media release.

And they’ll only follow up on 10%. So how do you get to be one in that 10%?

While the research looked at PR people, the research findings will help you understand what journalists really like versus what you think they want when it comes to sending your media releases through to them.

I’ve put together this quick summary of the report to show you what you really need to know if you want your favourite journalist to feature your story.

What journalists do and don’t want

Forget everything you know about sending media releases, Wieck Australasia reports that:

  • Journalists prefer to receive media releases via email. This can be text in the email, a Word document attached to the email, or a link within the email. Regardless of how, your email will only be read if it sounds relevant.
  • Journalists don’t want media releases via Twitter and Facebook. While journalists may enjoy real-time interaction when news happens, none of them want to be bombarded with media releases via social media. Really, none as in ZERO said it was OK.
  • Journalists prefer that you write like a journalist. Time-poor journalists don’t have time to rewrite lengthy media releases into news articles. This means poorly written or irrelevant releases are deleted within seconds. And if they’ve deleted your email once, they’ll more likely delete all future emails that you send through.
  • Journalists want more explainer videos. While journalists say they receive a lot more videos nowadays, they say the demand is greater than the supply. They welcome embedded links to custom explainer videos that support your media releases. If you provide your own videos, you have a higher chance of getting featured in the media. And if you promise a video, be sure to follow through. The story will be killed if the journalist never receives the video or you send it too late.
  • Journalists receive on average 50-100 emailed media releases per day. Some even receive up to 400 per day. However, 75% of journalists reported that they read less than 10 of the releases they receive each day. So you need to make sure yours stands out.
  • Journalists often take less than 10 seconds to ignore a media release. More than half outlets feature less than one in every 20 media releases received. So before you write your media release, think up various headlines and story angles that would pique curiosity.
  • Journalists don’t want you to phone after you’ve sent your media release. The number one way to further irritate a journalist is to make a follow-up phone call to chase your story. If your media release interests the journalist and they can use it because you wrote it well, they’ll be in touch. If they don’t contact you, do a better job next time.
  • Journalists say it’s important that you have an online newsroom. Want to make a journalist’s life even easier? They say to create a newsroom section on your website. Place a direct link from your home page to your newsroom. This online newsroom should contain your spokesperson’s bio and direct contact details, plus your latest media releases and any additional multimedia you want to share with journalists (e.g. mugshots of the spokesperson, as well as videos, audio and photos that portray your business). Also include links to your social media channels.
  • Journalists expect your multimedia items to be mobile friendly. There’s nothing worse than providing multimedia a journalist isn’t able to serve to their readership who are accessing their stories via mobile devices. It’s extremely important that you test your items before you suggest them to journalists.

The researchers summarised these findings as:

“Most media prefer emailed releases, and they use the phone to chase more information, with online newsrooms emerging as a further source – but none at all want releases via Twitter or Facebook.”

Knowing what journalists like and dislike can only help to get them to like and trust you.

If you need help writing your media release, perhaps it’s best to work with a journalist who provides that service. Call me on 0416 513 843 to discuss your story.

Original image by Naypong at

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