Why won’t mainstream media run our press releases? How does it work?

Dear Aunty B,

I need some help with a media issue and given that you are in the business you should be able to help.


No matter what we send out on press releases we can never get a run in the mainstream media. We are doing some great research and have great commentators but we just get ignored.

Meanwhile the chappies down the road at our competitors pop up all the time, particularly at one media organisation. How does it all work and what can we do?

Tearing our hair out,



Dear JT,

Look. As an entrepreneur you know all about relationships. Right? You know that no matter how great your products are a lot of your sales are about who is chummy with who. You know that the way to get a discount from suppliers is to be their best friends. So why is the media any different?

Second thing to understand is that journalists have a job to do. They need to break news, every second of every day. So unless you hit their radar with something newsworthy or they have a relationship with you, you are not going to get any cut through.

Third, don’t confuse news with advertising.  A lot of research developed by companies is PR fluff designed to advertise the company. Now it may be interesting to audiences even if the journalists are ignoring it. So why not turn it into a PDF, develop a bit of creative around it and run some banner ads. You then work out which websites reach your communities and advertise the PDF on those sites. When they download the PDF they have to provide you with a name and voila, you have a lead!

Alternatively you could develop a relationship with a few journalists. To do this you have to give them news: such as inside gossip about the marketplace and your competitors. You have to be useful to the journalist or they won’t waste their time on you. That way when you have some news, the journalist who already knows a bit about you and your company has a better context and can write a better story.

So decide which of your releases and R&D can become genuine news items. Find a journalist you like and try and have a coffee. Take something to trade and make yourself useful.

Be smart,

Your Aunty B

To read more Aunty B advice, click here.

Email your questions, problems and issues to auntyb@smartcompany.com.au right now!


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