Saturday, September 18, 2010


Week 10 reading: Writing a Media Release

For this week, I will touch more on media releases as per the reading mentioned above, its advantages and disadvantages.

So what is a media release? To freshen up everyone's memory, including mine, media release is like a short newspaper article which is send to various media outlets/channels to gain their interest in the hope that they will publish it. Normally, media releases are only a page long and consists of interesting facts.

I find that journalists and PR practitioners generally need and are inter-dependent on one another for story suggestions and sources – like a sort of mutual independence. It works both ways in a way that PR practitioners would provide journalists with news to which then, only the journalists can decide whether to publish them or not. PR practitioners would have to bear in mind that the news they provide have to be either 1. newsworthy, 2. related to the coverage area or, 3. both. It is also important to bear in mind that journalists receive hundreds of releases daily with more than 70% of them ending in the waste bins, therefore, it is very important to present an excellent media release which interests a number of people.

What are the benefits of writing and issuing media releases? One answer would be that it is ‘free advertising’ should the journalist decide the release is worthy enough for publication. Especially in product advertising in magazines where there is little or no budget, publishing a release is definitely beneficial for the company as they do not have to fork out a single cent – free publicity. In other words, media or press releases are powerful tools to build business awareness.

According to the reading, there are more advantages of using a release such as:

  • enables you to inform a number of reporters/publications at the same time
  • saves time
  • helps the reporter get the facts right

However, there are always two sides to a coin. Writing media releases also have its fair share of disadvantages. Unless you know how to write well and have the basic knowledge of putting up several information in a piece of paper, then it is likely that you will not get your desired outcome. Also, since only 30% of releases received by journalists each day are used, the chances of having yours chucked in the waste bin are very high.

So just hope it is a quiet news day the day that you send in your media release because only then, the chances of having it published is higher!


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  2. I second the idea of press release indeed is a powerful tool to build the business awareness, however, its not always helpful to the ones who have no idea how to produce an excellent press release.

    In order to produce a good press release, a PR practitioner has to focus on several things like the HEADLINES of the press release. Since only 30% of the press releases received by the journalists are used each day, therefore it is important for whoever wants to write a press release to make sure that the headlines are interesting to the journalists, or else it will end up in a bin.

    Before you write anything, always take note that none of the journalists out there are interested in helping you to make money or driving the readers to buy your product or services, a journalist is only looking for a story that is interesting to his readers and pleasing to his editor. He only wants to craft a good story. Therefore, he could care less about your great selection, super customer service and commitment to quality.

    In writing your headlines, always state the most exciting news, write your announcement in as FEW WORDS AS POSSIBLE. Don't make the journalist throw away your press release immediately after reading the headlines.

    Key things to remember when writing your press release

    Always write it from a journalists' perspective. If possible, avoid using first person writing style.

    Besides, always remember that the shorter is better. Keep short but clear with your points.

    Read more good press releases and you'll get what I mean

  3. Yes I totally agree that a good media release can be a good publicity for a company. this is especially true for small, new company who thinks that the products and/or services that they provide has the potential to attract readers and customers in the market, but have limited budget. Taking a degree in Journalism would probably help in writing a press releases or other task requires creative writing. Likewise, headlines also play a part. as what Yanti said that as much as 70% of daily received media release end up being thrown away. therefore, though the content is important, it is beneficial for PR practitioners to came up with a catchy title/headline to draw the journalists' attention.

  4. Couldn't have agreed more!

    Small and limited budgets company would need a good media release to publicize themselves. and therefore, required good and creative writings. Like what Indah commented, interesting headline would be one of the cleverest tactics to catch journalists attentions in choosing our paper out of 100 others.

    But the disadvantage of writing media release mentioned by Nur was not completely a disadvantage when you are given the chance to learn how to write a proper media release.

    As long as a PR practitioner knows the way to convince those journalists how interesting the products our company offers and know how to write it properly, it does not close the possibilities for our paper to be included in the 30%.

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  6. Hi Yanti, good that the reading Writing Media Release can help me have more understanding about the advantages and also disadvantages of Media Releases.

    I totally agree with you that Media Releases can bring a lot of benefits for the organization. Yes, it helps to save times and promote the organization’s reputation as well. Besides that, “new media” also play a critical role in Public Relation nowadays and specifically are the Internet. The Internet gives PR practitioners a chance to communicate with more and more publics in around the world. Personally, I think a combination between the Internet and Media Release that will help PR practitioners achieve a credible results, because I prefer to send the Media Releases to online newspapers or online magazines and I think that will attract more the attention of reader through the Internet!

    Finally, I agree with you that Media Releases required the high writing skill and basic knowledge. However, I just wonder why in the Media Release why don’t we put the short video, music, or nice pictures into the regular Media Releases to make it more interesting and can grab more attention from the audience.

    Hope we can both write well the Media Releases for our organization in the future.