The day and age of the digital news release

PRSA Webinar | February 9, 2015
Article written by Power Communications

Relevant background information, downloadable images, video clips and sound bites - all easily accessible with the click of a button and sent right to the recipient’s inbox. These all served as part of an overall key message in a recent PRSA webinar presented by Dr. Malayna Evans Williams, of PWR New Media. Digital Media and Today’s Digital News Release focused on how media is changing, what journalists want and how to get it to them.

Based on a recent survey Williams reviewed during the webinar, 88 percent of journalists who responded said they prefer receiving press releases by e-mail. The top five additional items they would like to receive include supporting information (i.e. background info and bios), images, press release verbiage, links to relevant information, such as a blog, and links to social media platforms for additional information or to follow. The survey also found that 77 percent of journalists said they are more likely to cover a story if there are images – but not as attachments. The preferred method seems to be through a direct link to download all the relevant information, Williams stated.

Williams went on to discuss “the golden rule of news releases – to give journalists what they want,” and one of the best methods to do so. Rather than send the text of a press release via standard e-mail – which may be the way majority of PR professionals go about it – sending a digital press release allows you to add all the links to relevant information, high res images, video clips and sound bites that journalists want.

A few last minute tips Williams shared before ending the webinar include: write out all URL’s in full; keep press releases between 300-500 words; avoid too much capitalization; send releases when people are most likely at their desk – not after business hours; and target relevant recipients.

In the ever-changing electronic world in which we live in acknowledging and adapting to the changes is inevitable and in many cases refreshing – as it makes the jobs easier, for us and the media outlets we target our stories to.