Journalists Need More than a Press Release From PR Pros

journalists need more than a press release
This was originally posted on

Your credit union has lots of great stories to tell. Getting those stories in the hands of journalists and influencers can be challenging.

You may think journalists have email overload, just like everyone else. You are right, but consider this: according to a recent survey by PWR New Media, 88% of journalists say they want to hear from you via email.

But here’s the caveat: they want more.

Journalists and bloggers need easy to read, concise information, accompanied by shareable visuals, with access to background information and other graphics.

What does this mean?

It means in addition to your written press release, you should include one or more of the following:

  • high resolution photos or downloadable images
  • shareable infographic
  • tweetable pull quotes/appropriate Facebook post
  • in-depth data or statistics that support your information
  • links to background or supporting information
  • b-roll or other appropriate video
  • relevant audio sound bites

Not convinced? Of the journalists surveyed, 77% said they would be more likely to cover a story if it included access to appropriate images.

Here’s more:

  • 85% want relevant backgrounders, bios and supporting information
  • 78% want verbiage from news release
  • 46% want a link to relevant blog on topic
  • 41% want information about brand’s social media platforms so they can follow or view

While newsrooms are shrinking, reporters are expected to do more. Newspaper journalists write articles and produce short videos to post online. Reporters at radio stations must also include a print version of their story, complete with graphics. Television journalists are expected to write online content to post on websites, in addition to their traditional broadcast segment. Hunting down a headshot, video or background information isn’t something journalists have time to do.

Your job as a communications professional is to make the media’s job as easy as possible. By providing a variety of elements with your press release, you are more likely to receive coverage and tell your credit union’s story.


App a Matchmaker for Journalists and PR Pros

upitch app

Forget an email or phone call, and a tweet is so 2014. No, the way to connect with a journalist now is to upload your pitch to an app where journalists can scroll through and choose which pitches they want to learn more about.

It’s a new app called UPitch that avoids the overflowing inbox and connects journalists and PR professionals. It’s been billed as Tindr for PR. I first heard about it while listening to the podcast “For Immediate Release.”

Do journalists use this? Seems like it doesn’t eliminate the fire hose of pitches journalists receive, but only redirects it to another platform. And do journalists and PR pros need yet another tool to connect?

Journalists complain about spammy pitches and irrelevant story ideas from public relations folks. And novel-length press releases are filled with so much industry jargon they are deemed unreadable. But will an app solve bad pitches?

Good PR pros know the kinds of stories and topics journalists are looking for and shouldn’t need an app to make it happen. They send targeted pitches and know which journalists to contact….in the most effective way.

I’ll be interested to see what becomes of this…I honestly don’t know that much about it. Could it become an easy way foster the journalist/PR relationship? Maybe…if both parties choose to use it.

We’ll see what happens.

3.5 Tools for Busy Communicators

A version of this first appeared on

I’m always on the lookout for useful tools. As a department of one, I’m short on time, but have plenty to do. Here are three (plus a half more) of my favorite tools: For finding the ideal typeface.
Don’t let anyone tell you fonts aren’t important. A great typeface is what holds your marketing materials together. allows you to see how a word looks in all the fonts that are installed on your computer. See them on a white background, black background, all lowercase or all caps. This is a great way to find a new font, or isolate a word that you want to stand out in your materials. Here’s one I did using “credit union.”

  1. Canva: For designing simple graphics.
    I am not trained as a graphic designer, so I don’t know all the tricks of the trade. I don’t use Canva all the time, because it does have limitations. I use it for quick social media graphics, flyers or simple invitations. Upload your own photo or choose from free backgrounds, photos and tons of graphical elements. Here’s a quick graphic I did with one of my photos.Canva
    3. For finding the “right” colors.
    Starting a design from scratch? Find hex colors, RGB, tints, complementary and monochromatic colors, plus more.

    3.5 For managing information overload.
    It’s not really a tool…but a way to wrestle your your crowded inbox. is a news aggregate that allows you to quickly glance at all the news important to you. Use the RSS feed to customize what you want to see, without jamming your inbox with a ton of emails.And these tools are all free…what are some your favorite tools or websites?