asked journalists a single open ended question: Please tell us
if you have any comments on how you receive press releases. About
one quarter of the respondents answered. Here are the unedited
Many responses related to HOW they wanted to receive
Emailed releases are less time consuming—no
need to retype information
faxed and mailed press releases never get looked at—100%
email is ideal.
Email seems to be the best.
The best way to get my attention is email.
Via email! Hard copy is a waste of paper and often gets lost.
It's much easier to keep track of electronic material.
I like the press release to appear in the e-mail, not as an
attachment. I don't have time to be opening attachements for
an initial scan, although I do like them when I'm interested
in the story. I HATE animation.
Do not like releases faxed to me unless I request it verbally
Would somebody please kill FAX and put it out of its misery?
Email is best - nothing fancy. Sometimes our system kicks them
I prefer e-mail. I prefer not to be called. If I need more info,
I stick with the old-fashioned way—emails and snail mail—mostly
because I'm too busy to figure out if RSS Feeds and electronic
press kits are really worth the time it would take to learn how
to use them. I'm not saying that's the best way to do things,
just how it gets done around here by those of us who are older
than 30 or so. (PWR note: many
journalists refer to “electronic
press kits” as CDs that arrive in the mail with press
information which appears to be what this journalist is referring
I prefer to have press releases emailed and sent both as an
attachment and included in the body of the e-mail. If I can read
the press release in the body of the e-mail, I can then determine
whether or not I want to download the attachment.
Postal and fax releases are almost always discarded unread.
Email releases have about two seconds to make their case or they're
deleted. We get far too much mass PR from agencies that have
taken no time to determine our needs or interests since our firewalls
do not allow a lot of media, it's best that people email the
story, with maybe a LINK to video or just overnight the video
in dvd format that can play on computers. not all formats work.
our firewalls are heavy.
Internet is the way I get information.
Hard copy and/or email OK
Many journalists told us WHAT they wanted to receive
with their releases:The more thorough it is, the more
likely I am to consider the press release for a story. And
leave out the marketing jargon. Never say,"XYZ corporation is dedicated to excellence." Have
you ever heard of a company that is dedicated to mediocrity?
If something is excellent, new, better, fresh, hot, hip, cool,
I'll know it when I read about the product or service. It will
be undeniable if it actually is. I want to know what specific
new or old need the product or service will fill or satisfy.
Prefer receiving by email with high res images (very important).
Email with immediate access to high resolution photos is best.
Instead of having high resolution photos sent to me as jpgs,
I prefer to have a link where I can go to to retrieve the photos.
that way my e-mail is not clogged up with big pix.
I often receive the same release via e-mail, fax and snail mail.
This is a waste of time, and resources. I would prefer always
to receive email with hi-res images attached, which I can print
and/or save as needed.
It's what's in the press release that matters to me. I resent
receiving material that is not applicable to my column or blatant
p.r. I want information relevant real stories tied to my topics
Please have the information in the body of the email, as well
as an attachment. Also, if the release is just as an attachment,
I might not open it—I don't know if it's a virus
If it's flashy, chatty, or otherwise short on substance, I trash
it on sight.
Often press releases do not contain the most important information
for journalists: that is: why, when who, how and when. If they
could include that on the first paragraph it will be easier for
us to read the press release. Otherwise is easier to click the "delete" key
on the pc.
Prefer text in body of e-mail as everyone sends in different
word processing formats.
Please, please, please don't send space-hogging graphics unless
I ask for them. If I'm gone from the office for a day or two
they can completely jam my mailbox, preventing all other mail
from coming through. It really upsets me, and makes me dislike
the sender. When emailing press releases be sure that the subject
line says what the press release is about. Nothing is more useless
than an e-mail to a journalist with a subject line "press
release." I only get 200 of them daily. Put the important
information in the text, not in an attachment. I have a database
program that imports all e-mails that I want to save and makes
them fully searchable -- but can't handle attachments. If you
want me to be able to find you again, don't put anything important
Like release in body of email message; attachment option okay
too. Don't send any images unless requested. Links to images
on-line are great.
Flash/animation are fine to see, but we can't download them
for use. We rely on high resolution photos.
My main complaint is that I receive press releases with too
much collateral info. I don't need to see clips of where the
product has been mentioned. I don't need giant color photos of
the product. And I don't need long bios of everyone who worked
on the product. I need a quick explainer on what's new and a
breakdown of ingredients and how it works. The release should
ALWAYS say when it's launching, where it will be available and
how much it costs.
Some journalists offered advice to PR professionals,
most frequently regarding relevance, brevity, timely and excessive
follow up calls:
I hate faxes ... and I hate having to wade through tons of PR
BS to find out what they're pitching. Give me what, when, where
and I'll call you if I'm interested.
like to see the information and headline in Subject field and
top of page—contact info later.
Please make your press releases count ... 99.9 percent of the
stuff I get is absolutely worthless, and if you don't take the
time to figure out what my publication is about and you blanket
me with useless crap, you're going to end up on my blocked list.
Though updates are always helpful, receving constant updates
on a single client invokes the law of diminishing returns.
Keep them concise and as neutral as possible.
I get a lot of junk that has no relevance to my magazine. I
think people should refine their lists.
How I receive press releases is fine. The phone calls I receive
to "make sure" the material has been received are unnecessary.
Please do not follow up to see if we've receive the press release
or if I'm intersted. If I'm interested, of course I'll let you
Our use of press releases is governed by their local relevance.
I understand and appreciate getting the releases but the constant
follow-up calls are extremely annoying. If a profgessional has
creted the release, they know to include their contact info—that
should be sufficient for me if I have questions.
I find that frequently, even when I sign up for news releases
from organizations I want info from, I get that info irregularly,
or get dropped from the list, which is annoying. I also quite
often get news releases from organizations which obviously know
nothing about the publication they're sending it to—wasting
my time with news inappropriate for the magazine.
Please send only those press releases that are relevant to my
In a timely manner is a concern.
Please familiarize yourself with what we cover before sending
any pitches—my mailbox is often filled with topics that aren't
even close to the food industry—this would be very much appreciated.
Keep them short. THANKS.
Make it clear, easy and relevant. Maybe do some research into
the kind of publication we are before you send us stuff that
might just annoy us by wasting our time.