'Overt marketing' and 'irrelevant content' causing journalists to ignore PR emails


Ever wondered why you never got a reply back from journalists? According to PR Newswire's recent Asia Pacific Media Survey titled "Redefining the value of content" which surveyed about 1,000 journalists in Asia Pacific, journalists ignore emails due to overt marketing (21%) and lack of useful content (21%).

Other reasons also include irrelevant emails or those that do not capture interest (18%), unclear email subject line (13%), insufficient details (12%) and a brand that is not well-known or has developed a bad reputation (8%).

To develop more valuable media relations, PR Newswire said PR professionals need to develop a more targeted and localised approach. The survey report also added that multilingual communication is crucial for businesses in the Asia Pacific markets. For example, it is essential for businesses to complement their English press release with local language versions when engaging with local media in ASEAN countries. PR Newswire also advised PR professionals to share indepth industry views and interesting perspectives without using industry jargon. Also,

PR professionals should spend more time understanding their target media and journalists’ preferences to craft targeted pitches to help them create insightful content.

Another challenge that PR professionals know too well when engaging with journalists is getting them to attend clients events. About 43% of journalists evaluate an event based on news value, and 25% of journalists consider whether is it helpful for maintaining a relationship between themselves and the inviting company when evaluating event invitations. Also, 11% of journalists consider transport subsidies when evaluating invitations.

[Advertising + Marketing’s PR Asia will come to Malaysia this November, gathering together some of the finest minds in industry to explore the exciting and developing world of digital PR. Join us for a series of exclusive case studies, interactive and thought-provoking discussions at PR Asia on 20 November in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Register now.] 

Press release remain important even in the digital age

Press releases are still the most trusted source of information among journalists, even in this digital age when information can be found anywhere and everywhere online.

According to PR Newswire, majority of journalists surveyed (27%) trust press releases over social media channels (10%). Compared to the 2016-2017 survey conducted by PR Newswire, trust in official press releases increased by 5%.

When it comes to popularity over trust, press releases are the second most popular source (51%) for journalists to seek quotations for stories after personal network contacts (60%). In particular, PR Newswire said that journalists from Indonesia (69%) and Taiwan (66%) are most likely to leverage on press releases for quotes in their stories. This comes as content quality was listed as the top key performance indicator (KPI) by 25% of the journalists in the region. This was followed by the number of original news stories (22%), readership (20%) and social media engagement (16%).

Journalists from Singapore (29%) and Hong Kong (35%) were most focused on readership, while those in Malaysia (29%), Vietnam (35%) and mainland China (22%) chose content quality as their top KPI.

Meanwhile, Indonesian (30%) journalists prioritise hitting a target number of original news stories.

Leveraging on the popularity of press releases and in a bid to help journalists produce quality content, PR Newswire said companies should craft content with clear news hooks to make it easier for journalists searching for corporate news. To increase the chances of getting quoted by journalists, PR Newswire also stressed the importance of ensuring quotes in press release offer insight, colour and supporting numbers while minimising marketing spin.

In this digital age, companies should also bear in mind to include multimedia elements in their press releases.

The survey report showed that high-resolution photographs (29%) are the most preferred multimedia element in news coverage, followed by video (25%) and infographics (21%). Meanwhile, only 5% of journalists surveyed use audio content. Journalists in Indonesia especially, are the most active users of high-resolution photographs, the survey report said.

[gallery link="file" ids="272174,272173,272175"]

"For businesses operating globally, enhancing brand awareness and reputation are important tasks where media coverage plays a critical role," said Lynn Liu, director of audience development and distribution services. Liu added that in the Asia Pacific region, it is vital that international businesses understand the shifting media landscape and local journalists' preferences to become even more valuable media partners.

[Marketing is proud to once again present PR Asia in Singapore this year. Join us for a series of exclusive case studies, interactive and thought-provoking discussions this 13-14 November in Singapore and discover the latest strategies, insights and groundbreaking ideas to elevate your PR practice. Register now!] 

(Photo courtesy: 123RF)