There is some debate as to whether sending a media release out in the lead up to Christmas is a good or bad idea if it doesn’t have a strong seasonal angle. In my experience as a newspaper journalist it is during this time you have more chance of securing coverage of a less newsy story, so send away I say!
Why should I send a media release out now?
- Fluffy filler = life saver. Holiday season leaves the newsroom practically empty. And the poor journo who didn’t get their leave form signed off on is responsible for filling the same amount of space that the entire editorial team would have been responsible for prior to the festive season.
Have you ever seen a newspaper print with blank places where stories should be? No! That’s because, come hell or high water, it is the job of a journalist to fill every single editorial spot. When you’re on deadline and short-staffed, a well written media release without the hard news angle sure isn’t going to get front page, but it makes a great filler.
Also keep in mind that thousands of newspaper journalists lost their jobs last year. For those left behind, it has been like Christmas all year around – and not in a good way! That means that Christmas this year will be more difficult than usual. Sending a media release now is a little opportunistic, yes, but it could also help out a little bit too.
- Slow news day … week! The usual sources of news, like government departments and PR agencies, close down over Christmas. Weekly newspaper deadlines often move forward to accommodate the number of public holidays coming up – journalists are probably the only people on earth who think that public holidays just aren’t worth it – which means it is not unusual for journalist to be working on two or three editions at once.
Not only is news slow, it is being spread thin across various editions. Media releases that have been (or generally would be) pushed aside for more newsy stories suddenly start to look a whole lot more appealing, let me tell you!
What should I do?
Don’t compromise quality. Journalists need copy, yes, but keep in mind that at this time they probably aren’t feeling the friendliest. The media release needs to be well written and have a news angle of some description. If you’re not sure if your angle is strong enough, or if you have one at all, ask a professional – don’t poke the bear!
Make it easy. If you provide a well written media release with a news angle and direct quotes, as well as a publishable photo and caption, you’re more likely to get coverage. The more work you create for the journalist, the more likely they are to run another media release.
Who can help me? Our public relations mentoring workshops are presented by journalist turned marketing and communications manager, Kirsty Jagger. Having sat on both sides of the newsdesk, Kirsty offers unique insights to help businesses align their business strategies and goals with media guidelines and expectations.
Although these are introductory workshops, they are very comprehensive. Participants should leave the public relations mentoring workshop feeling confident they know how to approach the media with the aim of raising the profile of their organisation; enough to run a small scale PR campaign.
Our public relations mentoring workshops thoroughly cover media release writing. However, some clients like to employ our superior media copywriting services initially so they have a tangible template to work with in the future.
Participants receive a discount on our media copywriting services. As such, pricing is provided at the end of the workshop. Alternatively, quotes can be obtained by submitting a request via the ‘Contact Us’ page.
To find out about our public relations mentoring workshops, click here.