Beyond PR

Apr 05, 2017

Building Journalists’ Trust with Press Releases

You may have heard the word “truth” discussed in current popular culture conversations. What are alternative facts anyway? A point of view, a news angle; the “truth” is often manipulated.

In many cases truth is dependent on trust, which requires a relationship and is built upon over time. As creators of news and public information, trust is our most valuable asset.

Building Trust

At Cision/PR Newswire, trust is the foundation of our business. We would have no service to provide if not for trust. Our customers trust us to distribute their content and journalists trust us to have verified customers’ content.

In the Cision’s 2017 State of the Media Report, journalists expressed that the public still values the facts over opinions and feelings, by a large majority. This is especially good news for PR Newswire clients, who must be candid and clear when deciding what stories they want to tell to their audiences.According to “Five Ways Brands Can Combat Fake News with Press Releases”, customer content services manager Jennifer Tolhurst explains that “communicators have always understood that transparency and clarity benefits their brand story. That’s how they retain the trust of audiences, who accept branded content so long as they have a full view of what it is and who it is from.” Jen outlines best practices that brands can follow including using straightforward headlines, providing clear quote and research attribution, identifying the source (the party responsible for the news), giving media contact information for follow up and telling a story in an authentic voice.

Journalists are looking to brands to provide this newsworthy information.  According to the State of the Media report, journalists cite press releases and story leads as the most valuable PR resource, with expert interviews / story sources and sourcing images and video also included. While journalists continue to rely on PR professionals, 92% said that being right is more important than being first. Bottom line: the media is counting on organizations to provide them with factually correct and newsworthy information.

How Brands Can Better Partner with Journalists

By building relationships, organizations can increase their earned media opportunities with journalists. When asked “How can PR pros improve?” journalists recommend researching and understanding the journalists and media outlets they are trying to reach, tailoring the pitch to suit that beat, and providing information and expert sources helps. By pairing a targeted press release distribution with earned media outreach, organizations can start to build a foundation of trust that they can then build upon.

So what is the best way for brands to get your information to the media? By an overwhelming majority in the survey, journalists said that providing information should be done via email. This can be done using a list or a commercial newswire service like PR Newswire for Journalists. Do not use the phone – this was singled out as a huge dislike by journalists.

A targeted press release, in which the author has researched the journalists who cover the space, sent via email is the best way to get earned media coverage and to build a trusting relationship with the media. Additional advice for building a relationship with the media is to see your press release as a conversation with the journalist or blogger. Based on their past coverage, would they be interested? Always set the proper context in your content. Aim for it to be clear in the headline otherwise it can be confusing and can lead to a misunderstanding in coverage.

Earned media is still an extremely important vehicle to build your brand. Build trust and increase audience awareness through press releases. Contact us and we’ll partner with you to develop the right plan for your organization.

If you are a member of the media and would like to register for our services, please visit PR Newswire for Journalists.

Sandra Azzollini is Vice President, Audience at PR Newswire, where she has managed online properties for nearly 20 years. In her role, Sandy oversees several websites, including and PR Newswire for Journalists, which have been honored with several industry awards: two CODiEs; Bulldog Awards, Best Website; and Web Marketing Association’s Best Public Relations Website.

2 Comments on Blog Post Title

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­ Rivaria 07:34 EDT on May 23, 2017

Trust is the foundation and heart of this journalist business. Nice sharing

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