Study: Press releases are still relevant and have grown in importance

Nearly 90 % of journalists agree that press releases sent actively by organisations are useful. Whilst journalists cannot guarantee a written article, a survey by Liana Technologies revealed that press releases are a great channel for journalists to get information about a certain company and understand the industry better.

The survey was based on close to 900 journalists and media professionals from six countries around the world and was titled "Effective PR with press releases". Amongst these individuals were editors-in-chief, magazine and news journalists, and freelancers. The majority of the journalists that participated in the questionnaire have spent a long stint in media.

The relevance of press releases in journalists’ work has grown over the last year and a half. Press releases are a notable source for journalists when writing news and 35 % had utilised a press release in writing an article within 24 hours. This was an 8% increase from 2017's survey which showed lesser utilisation. About 85 % of the respondents said they had read a press release within the last 24 hours.

However, journalists receive hundreds of emails every day and have two crucial factors that help sift out relevant and interesting news to cover - clear and understandable press release, as well as an interesting headline, according to 91% and 88% of journalists respectively.

Two supporting factors to deciding whether the press release runs as news, is also determined by the relevance in expertise and urgency of news.

Nearly 93 % of the journalists appreciate a current topic, while 83 % of the respondents stated that it is quite or very important that a press release is related to their industry or field of expertise.

According to Liana Technologies’ communications specialist Fanni Mäki, the increase in journalists utilising press releases communicates more about the relevance and importance of press releases in journalistic work than an increase in their amount.  "It is beneficial for both the sender and the journalist on the receiving end that the press release is sent applying the best possible practices – meaning up-to-date contacts and proper targeting," she said.