Hey PR Pros: What Can You Learn After Analyzing 50K Press Releases?

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Well, one answer to the question in the title of this post can be found in the info graphic you’ll find below.  (Click on the image to enlarge.)

what-can-we-learn-from-50000-press-releases_54bfd0a7f2975_w907The graphic and analysis is the work of pr.co, an Amsterdam-headquartered news release distribution company operated by five guys, some with great hair. If you want to get a better visual perspective, just visit this page; you’ll be sent to an article found in a communication I received last week from the folks at PR News.

I’ll let the graphic speak for itself on what the pr.com guys found out after spending a lot of time concluding that press (or news, if you prefer) releases get the most views on Wednesday and customized distribution campaigns are more cost-effective, among other findings.

(Please, no offense intended to the pr.co team, but I would argue that any of us who have risen to the level of a public relations strategist could have concluded the latter in the comment above was true. Defining your publics is an integral part of developing a strategy, you know.)

Well, the PRDude doesn’t have analytical data based on the distribution of 10,000 news releases, but he does have three thoughts to share on this most ubiquitous of communications mediums, one that isn’t showing any signs of fading away in this new digital communications frontier.

1. Boring, With a Capital “B.” It’s hard to comprehend that even today, some news releases feature this type of introduction: “ABC Amalgamated, a Chicago-headquartered recognized leader in widget manufacturing and 2015 “Widget Maker of the Year” award, today announced …” Clearly, the wrong direction, one that will get the reader to hit the delete key, providing he’s still awake.

2. Where’s the News?  A news release should communicate, well news. It should be driven by relevant information and directed at a targeted media audience. Too often today, the news value of a news release is non-existent or marginal at best.

3. Are You Being Paid by the Word? In today’s crowded communications arena, effective news releases need to be succinct. Period. Announcements that exceed 400 or so words are ineffective.

I trust many public relations professionals will find the above perfunctory. But hopefully, these thoughts will prove of value to some.

And, to piggyback on #3 above, effective blogs should be short.

So I’ll stop at 393 words.