The relationship between journalists and PR professionals has never been an easy one, with each side wondering what on earth the other wants.

The PR professional, busy and always in a rush, wants to get their content published. The journalist, overworked and suffocating under deadlines, wants well-written and relevant content to publish. So, in order to keep both sides happy, PR professionals should tailor their content to suit the journalist’s needs.

But, how do they do that?

Simple! Here are five ways that PR pros can keep journalists happy and deliver killer results to their client:

1. Press releases need to have a clear news hook 

Your press release should start with the most important information — the 5 ‘W‘s’:
  • Who
  • When
  • Where
  • What
  • Why
From the very first line, your press release needs to captivate the reader and tell them exactly why they should care. Don’t start with a history of the brand — the reader will immediately close your press release and never look back.

If the journalists have to slog through your press release to find a hook that will interest their audience, chances are they’ll give up and rather choose one that has a clear, relevant news hook.

2. PR pitches should always be relevant

We all know that a job in PR isn’t an easy one, and when it comes to sending press releases — PR professionals really have their work cut out for them.

According to the 2019 State of the Media Report, 75% of respondents said that less than 25% of the PR pitches they receive are actually relevant to their audience.

HOLD UP. Let’s read that again.

75% of respondents said that less than 25% of the PR pitches they receive are actually relevant to their audience.

So, what do journalists want? Content that will peak the interest of their audience. So before you send off that bulk email to all of your media contacts, do your research. See what kind of content their publication covers, and what type of content they write.

When crafting your PR pitch, consider how your press release could serve the journalist’s audience. Find an angle that works and be sure to highlight why your release is a good fit for the publication’s audience — and lead with that angle!

3. Press releases should be customised to the journalist

As much as you should understand the audience of the publication you’re reaching out to, you should also know the journalist.

Start by directly addressing them by name — and whatever you do, don’t spell their name incorrectly. CRINGE.

As a PR professional, you want to build up a relationship with the journalist. So in every interaction, be polite and engage in conversation. If you are unsure if something would be relevant to their audience — ask. And once they’ve told you that they don’t cover that particular topic, don’t send more content about that same topic.

By customising your content to suit particular journalists, you’ll build up a good rapport with them and they’ll want to help you get your content published in future. Simple as that.

4. PR pitches should include engaging visuals

Every single press release you send should include a relevant image. The image should fit the style and layout of the publication you’re sending it to. For example, press releases on media update are always uploaded with landscape images.

But along with a relevant image to accompany your press release, there are numerous other types of visuals you can include. Think infographic, maps, videos and even GIFs.

We’re living in a modern age — and that means that we need modern press releases that are both well written and visually stimulating. Including interesting visuals in your press releases will enhance the information you have written and also grab the attention of the journalist you are pitching to.

When drafting your press releases, consider ways to include interesting visuals.

Some of the ways you could do is to as yourself:
  • Is there information that could be displayed in a chart or graph?
  • Is there a demo video that you could embed?
  • Do I have trends that could be shown as an infographic?

5. PR pitches should not be filled with jargon

When crafting your press release, you should keep the reader in mind. That means that while you might be an expert in your field, chances are — your readers are not.

Ensure that your content is easy to read and free of any industry jargon. If your content is difficult to read, what’s to stop your readers from just clicking away? You might think that including tons of jargon would make you sound like an authority backed by mass amounts of knowledge, but that’s only the case if your reader can understand it.

This is also where personalised content comes in; if your press release is being published to an audience of experienced business professionals, you can add more jargon. If it’s not, rather leave it out.

What other ways do you think the relationship between journalists and PR pros can be fostered? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Want to stay up to date with the latest news? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Wondering how you can create the perfect PR strategy that will deliver outstanding results? Check out the #SecretToSuccess: What the best PR strategies have in common.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy