Report: Journalists are ditching the press release

The press release isn’t dead, but its traditional format is on life support.

Muck Rack and Zeno Group surveyed more than 500 journalists[1] around the world and found that roughly half of journalists around the world (53 percent in the United States and 41 percent outside the U.S.) don’t use press releases to find new story ideas.

The survey also revealed that only 3 percent of journalists globally said that they heavily rely on them.

Sending press releases isn’t entirely a fruitless activity: Twenty-nine percent of U.S.-based reporters and 36 percent of non-U.S. based reporters said they “somewhat” rely on press releases, and 16 percent of journalists globally use press releases but would prefer a different format.

So, how can you pivot from the traditional press release?

Nearly half of reporters (49 percent) said they’d more likely pay attention to a press release if it contained an infographic, and 13 percent said they’d pay attention if a video was featured in a release.

Thirty-five percent said nothing PR pros do will make them interested in releases—so you might want to flex your social media muscles and get your storytelling juices flowing. Short, snappy pitches with an enticing narrative sent through email or Twitter will probably gain more attention.

PR pros and reporters work together—but aren’t partners

Along with altering (or abandoning) your press release, don’t forget the importance of relationships with reporters.

Roughly half of journalists (52 percent in the U.S. and 45 percent outside the U.S.) said they consider relationships with PR pros and agencies “mutually beneficial, but not quite a partnership.” Though only 22 percent of reporters globally think of PR pros as “a necessary evil,” far less (4 percent) overall consider them partners.

Social media is important, but not perfect

When it comes to boosting your media relations efforts—and endearing journalists—look no further than social media. Along with using digital platforms to source news, many reporters consider how well their stories are going to be received online.

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