7 secs to sell your story to journalists and editors

Media OutReach - 13 Oct 2021
Jennifer Kok, Founder and CEO of Media OutReach
One of the key questions, that I am often asked by clients is, ‘Do editors and journalists really have time to read all the press releases they receive every day?’

I can tell you the answer is YES. But, they only spend an average of 7 seconds scanning the release before deciding whether to use your story.

As you only have about 7 seconds to pitch to time-starved editors and journalists with your story, here are some of the useful tips provided by the editors that we have collated from across different geographic regions on how to increase the chance of getting your story published:

  • Write a killer headline that includes key companies’ names and what the release is about

  • Includes key pitch notes under the headline so they know what the key points are

  • Keep your press release short, relevant, be precise and concise

  • Do not use adjectives in your press release and keep your release factual

  • Write the release with media’s interests in mind and not of your boss’s interest

I would like to elaborate a bit more on why using adjectives would kill the chance of the editors publishing your story. It is simply the lack of time to factcheck your claim. Remember, there is less manpower in the newsroom and every claim made must be fact-checked before publishing. You don’t want to put any editor off with a press release that sounds like an advertorial with the use of adjective words like “We are a leading company” or “Our products are better than our competitors”. News is meant to be objective and is best to only state the facts about your company or product.

All the editors we spoke to agree that if a release has the qualities mentioned above, it will encourage them to use the contents and publish the news. This is probably why despite the high open rate for releases as shown on Media and Journalist Insights, the write-up is not as many.

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