Make the Media Happy to Hear from You:
Part I: Pointers on Using and Abusing E-Mail News Releases

July 2003
by Steve O’Keefe

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The Internet has radically transformed the distribution of news releases. Judging from a recent survey, virtually every journalist in all media in the U.S. is accessible by e-mail. But do they like receiving e-mail news releases?


When I began using e-mail to distribute news releases in 1994, the only media contacts online in significant numbers were technology reporters. By 1997, you could reach the average journalist via e-mail, but most were not comfortable receiving news releases that way. Today, everyone is online, and most journalists prefer receiving releases via e-mail over any other method.

So why is everyone complaining about e-mail news releases? Simply because everyone hates spam. And journalists really hate spam because they can’t hide from it. Since they rely on e-mail for communications with sources, colleagues, and their audiences, they can’t keep their e-mail addresses private. The ease of locating journalists’ e-mail addresses has created a real e-mail management problem for the Fourth Estate

Off-topic news releases–that is, news releases sent by people who do not read the publication, watch the program, listen to the broadcast, or know what topics the journalists they’re sending to cover–are the biggest complaint the media have about online public relations.

But you can use e-mail releases to create productive relationships with media representatives. By using the guide that…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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