5 Ways to Utilize a Press Release for Your Next Story

How to use press releases to write your stories

Be honest. Are you using press releases to write your news articles?

We know that some writers might avoid using news releases because they’re thought of as just promotional vehicles for the source company. But despite the possible hesitation around releases, nearly 80% of journalists in our 2021 State of the Media survey said they want to receive news announcements and press releases from brands.

Releases can be an efficient way for companies and organizations to share important information with the media. Figuring out the news angle of a release can help you utilize the details in your own write-up, with your own voice.

Here are a few ways that reporters and bloggers can use a press release when crafting their next article or post.

1. As a Starting Point

The most common way journalists can use a press release is as a jumping-off point for a story.

For example, if it’s an earnings release, you might pull some of the big takeaways from the announcement for your story on the company’s recent performance. If it’s a product announcement, maybe you get an idea for a roundup of the top products in the space or want to create a review piece. A press release with survey results can be a good starting point for a larger story on the relevant industry.

Press releases can be a good place to get some of those key details to build your story around. Finding the news story in the release will help you craft your article.

2. Find Quotes or a Subject Matter Expert

Most press releases will include a quote or several quotes from company executives, spokespeople, or customers. Maybe the quote is unique, adds to the story, and is perfect for inclusion in your write-up. If so, perfect! But if not (hey, it happens), you at least get the name of someone you’d like to contact for further comment.

Hint: If you’re searching for a subject matter expert for your story, check out ProfNet.

3. Download Multimedia Assets

We know that multimedia assets can help boost the engagement of your stories and that some outlets even require images with articles. The good news is that many PR and comms teams understand this and include assets with their press releases to make your job a tad easier.

Whether it’s a new product image, infographics breaking down survey results, or b-roll videos, you can find and utilize a variety of multimedia assets in press releases.

Like this one announcing Lowe’s new store experience for Pros, many press releases provide several assets for the media to choose from.

Screenshot of Lowe's Pros store experience press release

Bonus: Do you have to include a visual asset with every story? Sign up for PR Newswire for Journalists and we can make sure you’re only notified of releases that include a photo, video, or audio. Download what you need and include it with your story.

4. Repost Verbatim

This is one that you’d want to check with your editor about first. Figure out how your newsroom uses press releases. Can you quote them? What about paraphrasing? Do you need attribution?Add industry news your site with our free widget. Email cld@cision.com.

If policies allow the reposting of press releases (with attribution), this can be a good way to fill out sections of your site and include the latest news in the industry you cover.

Next steps: If you want relevant press releases to be added to your site automatically, we can help. Our team can customize a free widget for your website.


5. Build Relationships with PR teams

Maybe a company’s latest release doesn’t quite meet your needs, but you can envision their product, service, or story being useful down the line. Utilize the contact information in the news release, social media profiles, and any other contact details to connect with the PR team. Strengthen that relationship so that you increase the likelihood that you’ll be notified of big news down the line.

This is also an opportunity to tell the PR pro exactly what you’re looking for. Anything to cut down on the spammy emails, right?

Ready to start receiving press releases?

Are you missing out on relevant press releases? We can help you by setting up a custom newsfeed(s) to get you the news you’re looking for. Sign up for PR Newswire for Journalists and you’re only a few steps away from creating your targeted profile.

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Rocky Parker is the manager of Audience Relations at PR Newswire. She works with journalists, bloggers, and content creators to create their targeted newsfeeds from PR Newswire for Journalists. Rocky has also counseled on content writing best practices. Check out her previous posts for Beyond Bylines. When she’s not working, Rocky typically can be found cooking, binge-watching a new show, or playing with her puppy, Hudson. 

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