Do You Need to Add

So we sent the question to list of 100 journalists, bloggers and influencers.

We received 42 replies. Here’s what they said:

Most recipients confirmed there is no change in behaviour for “labelled” or “unlabelled” press releases, which falls in line with our number crunching. But we did get some other insight:

One of the recurring themes was that brands and PR professionals should realise the email subject is where you pull in journalists seeking good stories. Knowing that your subject line should be around 50 characters or fewer[11], the word “press release” takes up quite some room in that valuable spot.

You only have one chance to make a first impression.

There’s more.

After our initial email, a conversation started. We asked about the inner workings of the media, the workflow used to select newsworthy content and what their mailboxes looked like. Here’s what we found out.

Some food for thought

It might help when it’s from someone who knows what a press release is, not when it’s just marketing tagged as a press release.
Mary Branscombe[12], Freelance Journalist (Financial Times, The Guardian, ZDnet)

We do not really care if an email is labelled as a press release. Our news office is trained to process huge amounts of information in a very short time. Doing that we see beyond the words “Exclusive”, “Breaking” or “For immediate release”. “Press release” is another of those words.

And when people DO decide they want to use the word “press release”, make sure the content of the pitch actually contains news. If you do not have an interesting story, don’t email it.
Tom de Cock[13], Radiohost, MNM/VRT

I would say that every unnecessary word in an email headline is less space for the sell. So basically, I’d say I wouldn’t put “press release” in my subject line.
Patrick Goss[14], Editor in Chief, TechRadar

In conclusion

Do you need to add “press release” to your email pitch to increase the impact?

No, there is no reason to do so if you provide value fast.

Although the data (open rate and click rate) did not provide us enough valuable insight to strengthen that argument, our survey and conversations with journalists and influencers showed no one really puts much stock into the word “press release” anymore. 

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