5 Things Not To Expect From A Press Release
Are you about to launch a PR campaign but are worried about press release distribution mainly because you don’t know what to expect?
If YES, then you might want to read on.
There have been never-ending misconceptions about what a press release can and cannot do. There are so many press release myths, it’s unbelievable!
One could be even inclined to ask, are press releases still relevant?
Each press release comes with its own set of demands and expectations, especially from the client.
The pressure to deliver can be overwhelming sometimes, especially for the team that’s running the account and the agency as a whole.
You see, the press release has long been used to share news, convey a message, position, or an opinion on a wide range of issues and a lot of these get distributed on a daily basis.
In the UAE, for instance, a news editor at a mainstream newspaper probably receives over 300 press releases every day. Multiply these by an average of 400 words per release and you have some 120,000 words. Now that’s a lot of reading!
Quantity aside, there are other factors that determine what gets published. This is where you now need to manage expectations.
But even for those lucky few that finally get picked up and used, there is a certain level of expectation that you need to be aware of from the onset.
Here are 5 things NOT to expect from a press release
Guaranteed coverage in particular media houses
We all love to get covered in that one particular leading news outlet. The truth is, this is not always the case. Editors and Reporters are indeed different. What appeals to one might not necessarily excite another. Keep in mind that Editors publish news that is relevant to their particular audience.
Also, media houses have different editorial policies, which basically dictate what stories get featured. Another reason is that stories may be disregarded due to various reasons, especially when there’s breaking news. Yours could have been the unfortunate one this time around. It happens.
Layout to be exactly as the press release and be used in all publications
Remember the point about an editor receiving hundreds of press releases on a daily basis? It’s a tough balancing act when you have stories competing for limited space.
What this means is that your press release, if lucky enough to land a space, might have to be shortened. In other instances, the editor could decide to “beef up” your press release. He might add facts or quotes from other sources to make the story more interesting, which could make your story longer than it was.
The limited space available in the publications does not always allow for a press release to be published in its entirety. As mentioned earlier, there are other stories that need to be published, hence the editor allocates spaces to stories according to their relevance and importance.
Pick and choose which media house to get featured in
Press releases get sent to a number of news outlets. The main reason for this tactic is to maximize media coverage, which in most cases is the main objective.
What the agency (or client) can’t do is dictate which media house they should get featured in. It simply does not work that way. To counter this, the agency waits to see which media picks it up. Then, the Agency tries to figure out how to break into that elusive publication.
Images and logos to always be included
A picture is worth a thousand words. No one knows that better than the editor. But sometimes stories get published without pictures or images and for varied reasons. The editor might simply not have enough space on the page to use your photo – no matter how good it looks.
Another reason could be that the quality and even framing of your photo or image does not meet the publication’s standards. The same goes for company logos.
Translate into sales? Not quite
This is another common misconception. Press releases do not necessarily result in a spike in sales. At least not instantly. Well, unless you are announcing a huge discount at one of your stores. In most cases, its impact on sales will be gradual, which is more sustainable as the company is able to plan its production and distribution. So don’t panic if your products don’t fly off the shelves the next day.
So what should you expect from your press release?
There are quite a number of things one should expect from a press release over and above the publicity that piece of news generates. These include:
- Instant exposure to the market
- Enhanced search engine optimization
- Trust building and credibility in your industry
- Increased traffic to your site
- Opportunity to generate and convert new leads
- Positioning as a reliable news source for reporters
- Enhanced online reputation
In conclusion, it is always in the agency’s best interest to have all their press releases published. However, this doesn’t always happen.
Do not despair, this is not the end of the world.
The good thing about engaging a PR agency is that it will always explore other ways and means of ensuring that your message reaches the intended audience.