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PITCHING YOUR NEWS STORY: Newspapers still first place to start

By Barry Forward
Posted Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Internet has quickly become the default launch point for many media pitch campaigns. Business owners have quickly grasped the ease at which they can blast their news out through online newsletters, email campaigns and online wire services. Essentially the Internet has made getting your name in the media seem a whole lot easier. BUT just because your news release happens to appear on a website somewhere, does that mean it's actually being read?

A new survey has found that news consumption, our daily helpings of local, national and international news, still comes predominantly from the daily newspaper. Yes, despite the obvious increase in Internet use, most of us still look to the daily printed tabloids and broadsheets for our news fixes. 52 percent of us say the newspaper is still number one and something that we are not going to part with easily, despite the prognostications of many a digital futurist.

So just what does this mean if you are in business and trying to generate some publicity for your company - start with the newspaper first. Or that the very least when you are developing your priority list make sure the local newspaper is at the top of your hit list and that you write a version of your news release specifically for the traditional print press.

It appears to come down to perception - when we see our company name appear on the newswire, or on a website we are artificially comforted in the belief that we have achieved some tangible results from our news campaign. Our local customers may tell us otherwise, specifically due to the fact that given their news reading habits they probably missed our news announcement, even though it appeared on (

While newspapers still appear to be the logical first choice for news coverage, the survey did find that the Internet has passed television in the minds of business owners looking to get their news stories covered. There could be several reasons for this including the fact that most of us find it increasingly difficult to find time to sit in front of our television sets for the evening news and the introduction of instant news alerts and online news centers which are making the currency of television news less attractive.

The newspaper appears to have remained king purely due to its physical nature - it slams into our door in the morning, greets us at the bus stop, fills our bird cages and reminds us we are part of a bigger world as we carry out the recycling.

About the Author
Barry Forward is the Executive Vice-President of Reputations Inc and has an extensive background in public relations. He has also launched several companies, including high tech ventures and products. You can read more PR related articles like this one at (


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