Saturday, July 21, 2012

Press releases are not published ‘as is’

Guest-blogging for Paradux Media Group, internet marketer Jeff Gross states that press releases are published “as is.”

The subject of Gross’s entry is whether submitting press releases are worth the effort anymore. I believe he offers valid advice about submitting press releases and using social media to support a company’s PR.

But as I stated in comments left in response to his post, it isn’t entirely or always true that a news outlet will publish a press release “as is.” This is certainly not the practice at the Lake County Record-Bee, where I edit themed pages.

When preparing press releases for publication, both online and in print, I require them to be written in compliance with Associated Press style.

(When serving two terms as vice president of PR for my local Toastmasters club, No. 8731, I wrote press releases against the standard set by the Associated Press.)

Recognizing that press releases are often layman submissions, I don’t expect them to follow the exact format. That is where editing comes in, as do education and outreach through in-person presentations and handouts.

Editing may mean contacting the submittor and asking questions about information that is unclear. It may mean conducting an online search to verify an organization’s name.

From the initial edit and placement on a page, it passes to a second editing.

By the time a page is exported to composing and stories uploaded to the web, it has been viewed by at least two people who have edited for newsroom standards. That is a far cry from merely publishing the press release “as is.”

Published July 31, 2012 in the Lake County Record-Bee

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