Why you should target your press release

Journalists receive a lot of press releases and a lot get deleted without being read because they just don’t have time for them.

Targeting your press release to specific journalists, publications and websites can give it a better chance of being read. Here’s why.

Photo by Sandie Clarke on Unsplash

When I give generic examples of good and bad ways to approach writing press releases, I pick on window box makers.

It’s not just a lame attempt at humour but a reminder of a past experience.

When I was a journalist at commercial property magazine EG, I was sent press releases from a company which made window boxes for houses.

Pictures of bright coloured blooms sprouting from boxes hanging from windows on pretty little cottages. You know the type of thing.

Irrelevant story

If the PR had ever taken the time to pick up a copy of EG they’d know that a story about window boxes wasn’t ever going to make it into print.

The magazine was aimed at those working in commercial property – developers and investors.

Maybe someone developing a residential scheme of several hundred units, not individual homes or those looking to improve the look of their home.

The PR for the window box company was taking a classic scattergun approach, sending the press release to as many journalists as possible and hoping for the best.

Sadly it was an all too common tactic and a risky one, particularly for a PR agency.

Bad reputation

The problem is, a PR can quickly get a bad reputation for being a time-waster by sending irrelevant press releases.

A journalist sees the name in their inbox and hits delete without a second glance.

They get so many emails, they quickly judge the potential of a press release based on the name of the sender and the subject line.

So the scattergun approach means a relevant press release might get overlooked purely based on the past behaviour of the sender.

The trick is to do some research: Who do the journalists write for and who is their audience? Then it is easier to target press releases appropriately.

It gets much better results.

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