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Your media campaigns’ success often rests on journalists’ shoulders

Many companies invest heavily in sending out lots of painstakingly produced press releases and carefully crafted content. Unfortunately, these often generate next to no meaningful media mentions at all. Sounds familiar?

INS enlists seasoned journalist Bo Ingves and experienced PR consultant Johan Sjöberg to bring you the insider insights from two professionals who know what it takes to get your news noticed…

Bo Ingves is a seasoned journalist and technical writer with experience bringing B2B product news to life for international clients

Johan Sjöberg is an experienced PR consultant specialised in helping B2B companies reach their target customers via trade media

Winning the race for attention

“I completely understand the pressure the editors work under because I have worked in editorial offices. The typical problem for magazines is that they simply have too few journalists. Editors generally have too little time, and decisions must be made quickly. Every press release you send in competes with many others,” states Bo Ingves.

“The editor has a very short time to read an individual press release. The decision to publish or not is made in a matter of seconds. This depends upon the journalist’s experience, the credibility of the news source, the method of presentation, and the all-important pitch. The decision is also affected by the media’s profile and how the news fits their scope.”

Write for the readers

“I always think of the editors’ dilemma when I start writing a press release for one of INS’ clients. As a newsroom editor, what was it that made me choose a certain press release over the countless others I received? Attention isn’t won by artistic impression or literary creativity. A press release must be novel and newsworthy, concisely written but with enough information to craft a valuable story, and above all, relevant to the readers,” Bo specifies.

Wake up the journalists

“An effective press release should primarily pique the journalist’s interest. For email pitches, the subject line should be informative, yet striking. It is impossible to convey the whole story in a headline, therefore the title and subsequent preamble must be concrete, yet compelling. Remember, you are competing for attention, so the interest needs to be instantaneous to avoid the trash folder. It is precisely at this point that the editor takes the moment’s decision whether it is worth reading on or putting the message aside,” says Johan Sjöberg.

“For the body text, ‘easy to digest’ is the key characteristic. To convey authority, it must be expertly written and must therefore get to grips with the subject as thoroughly as possible. However, this does not mean that the value of the message should hide in a jungle of jargon or sink in a sea of technical terms. Good journalism means above all else that the message hits home with the reader. A writer must also take care not to be self-serving or underappreciate the reader,” Johan continues.

The path to publicity

Most of the press releases written for INS are distributed to global trade media, which means that the texts must be internationally acceptable, free from national idiosyncrasies. Press releases distributed globally must still be relevant locally.

The target audience for a press release is chosen by aligning the value of its message with the readers’ interest and expertise. This means that the reader already has sufficient knowledge to understand the value and a vested interest in the subject matter. It is therefore not the writer’s job to forcibly deliver an alien concept or try to unearth a non-existent enthusiasm for the news. All professional editors and even readers, particularly of trade magazines for industry insiders, have pre-formed knowledge and are seldom deceived. But if the press release can give the editors a fresh perspective on an existing issue, or better yet, introduce an innovative idea intelligently, the chances of publication are high.

Do you have news to share?

Trade media is the number one source of product news for professional decision makers. Our customised campaigns ensure your news reaches the readers that matter to you. Contact us at services@ins.fi for a complimentary consultation.

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