The 1-minute news release
Can you get your story across in 200 words?
In the time it takes you to wash your hands, buckle your seat belt or start the dishwasher, your favorite journalist can finish reading your news release.
That’s right: Nearly 70% of journalists spend less than a minute reading a news release, according to a 2014 study by Greentarget (PDF). The rest spend one to five minutes.
Figure that people read about 200 words per minute, and your release should top out at 200 words.
Why so fast?
No wonder reporters don’t linger over your release:
- 45% of journalists surveyed get 50 or more releases per week.
- 21% get at least 100 per week.
- 40% get 10 to 50.
These folks are drowning in an ocean of content. Plus, years of media downsizing and increasing demands on journalists to produce digital content mean that their time is even more constrained.
As a result, “releases that are too long” is the fourth biggest pet peeve of the journalists surveyed by Greentarget. (“Releases that are poorly written” — ouch! — is No. 3.)
Respect reporters’ time: Write releases that tell the story fast.