Media still want press packs by post

Some fascinating information in an email from regarding the preferences of automotive journalists for receiving press information.

A survey of 400 top automotive journalists revealed that although all are using online resources for press information, nearly three quarters (71%) still want to receive press packs by post.

Okay, the traditional press pack that accompanies a new car launch for example contains a lot of information and simply putting this online as a pdf file means journalists would be faced with the cost and time involved in printing it out. 

But, shouldn’t the level of detail in a full press pack be better packaged using online resources?  Isn’t that where the multimedia options, links and search potential of electronic data come into their own?  Is this a problem of PR presentation or journalist habits? 

A smaller, but considerable percentage (30%) of respondents said they still want press releases sent by post.  This seems surprising, but I’m sure that email overload is a factor in opting for snail mail – and many of the motoring guys spend a lot of time out of the office on launches, so a pile of post may still be easier to manage.

Two thirds (62%) said they want press information sent personally to them – and only 4% want press releases made available for download only. 

Now as a distribution company, one could say, it’s not surprising that Newspress would say that.  But, from my knowledge of automotive media, there seems to be little appetite for RSS feeds and other pull means of receiving the news.

Mind you, I recall sitting in Meet the Media meetings not that long ago, where even the idea of email distribution or visiting a website was met with gasps of horror from journalists.

The majority now seem comfortable with getting email releases – indeed, I’m sure the idea of waiting a day or two for “news” to arrive seems odd to most people.

There are undoubtedly training and confidence issues with PR practitioners and journalists over using newer technology developments, such as feeds, blogs and social media releases. 

These statistics are simply a snapshot on current preferences and I don’t want to draw too many conclusions – except to say they highlight the need for understanding individual preferences rather than making assumptions when distributing information.

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

One thought on “Media still want press packs by post”

  1. Ha! At a round table, a little while ago, I set up some RSS feeds for a group of journalists on a major national newspaper. They had not considered the idea for getting news leads and were delighted at the speed and quality of content (especially the Google news alerts). But there was only one PR person we could find who had set up a subject/client specific RSS feed for blog posts and press releases. Which was a downer.

    I think the idea of PDF’s is just nuts. It lacks interactivity, takes time to download/print and is hard to make useful links to additional resources because its hard coded.

    I like the idea of wiki’s for press releases because you can embed video, podcasts, text, photos, IM, backgrounder info and widgets in an easy to navigate resource. You can add RSS feeds (even press reports via RSS), Twitter, message boards and use even email from inside the wiki.

    There are then four notification routes: mail, email, PR Web and the client web site.

    Do you then need the dreaded phone round. Well, journalists quite quickly get the message about who gets the news – and its not the one waiting for a phone call when everyone else already has all the information from an RSS feed.

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