Is the media release still relevant?


Ah, the media release. It’s been the humble workhorse of the communications industry for over a century. Surely, though, its time is up now that our brave new world of instant digital communication has taken over?

Definitely not! In fact, the media release is a high-performing master of reinvention that still has the power to open doors to media exposure for your organisation – if it’s done well.

If it’s done badly, however, not only does your organisation miss out on valuable media opportunities, it also risks tarnishing the reputation of your brand and product.

Where journalists once received a media release by mail or fax (yikes – I’m old enough to remember both of these!), it has rapidly adapted to suit our fast-paced online news world.

The look and style of the new media release has changed so much. It may take an audio or video format, to extend the chances of publication in television, radio, social media or online news services.

While the media release has evolved quite a bit, there are some timeless golden rules to apply when preparing one to make sure you get it right:

  1. Know your message. What are you trying to say? Make sure you know exactly what message you need to get out there – and why.
  2. Know your audience. Nothing peeves a journalist more than an irrelevant media release taking up space in their inbox – you can guarantee it will head straight to the trash folder. Spend time working out exactly who you need your message to reach and then which media outlets are likely to be interested in that. TV news channels won’t likely care about a small business’s success story, but the local newspaper and radio station will.
  3. Think beyond the traditional. Newspapers, radio and television media coverage is fantastic – if you can get it. Sometimes, though, you can get better coverage by sending your media release wider to bloggers, websites, online special interest groups and social media influencers. Have a family-friendly event to promote? Jump online and search for websites and Facebook groups that share this information and submit your media release to connect directly with your target market.
  4. Make it snappy. You’re busy, I’m busy, the journalist at the end of your email is busy. They need your information, fast. Keep your release tight (1-2 pages maximum) and ensure all key information is clearly presented.
  5. Make them care. Newsrooms are bombarded with media releases every day – especially marketing material pushing new products. What makes your organisation’s story stand out? Find a unique angle or a human side to the story and build your media release around that.
  6. Get creative. Want to really increase your chances of media coverage? Then make it so easy for media to package up your story that they can’t resist. Send your media release with a package of high-quality images, video or audio grabs. If it’s great quality, you’ve just slashed their workload and made your story far more likely to be picked up.


And if all that seems a bit too daunting, remember that we’re communication experts with extensive experience in both newsrooms and in producing media materials that get our clients noticed. We love a challenge and we’d love to help you get your message out there!