Reading Matthew Parris in The Times on Saturday brought succour to my frustration over capitalisation in press releases headlines. Apparently even the UK Government has been infiltrated by the US habit and ‘shouts out’ its news to those on the mailing list.
And that was the other matter he addressed – News. He questions the news value of most of the releases he has been sent. It made me wonder how many other agencies ask clients prior to sending out their release “Is this news?”, “Will the journalist want to know this?”, “Does this add to the client’s authority in this area?”. It should be addressed every time a client sends out a release but how many PRs are brave enough to tell a client that his product/opinion/survey is not newsworthy?
At EML we frequently query the need for the ubiqitous press release and look at other methods of news delivery. If PRs are to serve clients to their best purpose they have to be prepared to do this whilst providing an alternative way for them to raise their profiles and gain coverage. Harder work but could prove more beneficial in the long term.