What This Gazette Editor is Looking for in Your Press Releases

 In Blog

While everyone else is winding down at the end of the day, Stanley Moulton is up late, shaping the news that people will read when they wake up in the morning.

As the night managing editor at the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Stan oversees the newsroom in the evening, directing reporters and editing stories. Being the business editor as well, he is also responsible for selecting stories that will be featured in the Business section of the paper from week to week, assigning those stories to reporters, then editing the finished product.

In his current positon, Stan is on the receiving end of many press releases from Beetle Press—and other businesses and nonprofits across Hampshire County. For this reason, we think he’s an invaluable resource on what editors look for in press releases, and he was kind enough to spell it out for us.

Stan is a skilled editor and writer as he has had vast experience in many different roles during his 40 years at the Gazette. He started out as a reporter, covering news on education, social services, mental health and politics. Over the years he has been an editor for all different sections of the paper, such as general news, the website, sports section, business column and overall content.

“I’ve done a lot of different things in the newsroom and that’s been positive to keep me fresh,” Stan says.

One of the most memorable days in his career was working during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 as he had to process and react to that event as both a human being with deep emotions and an objective news reporter. Even though the Pioneer Valley is removed distance-wise from where the attacks happened, the paper still had to plan its local coverage while also dealing with the national crisis on the website.

Journalism has changed tremendously since the Internet was born. Readers now have a variety of media through which they can receive news instantaneously. One effect of this is that, with the digital publishing of news, sometimes the usual checks and edits aren’t done with the same level of thoroughness and precision. This because editors are moving more quickly to accommodate consumers who rely on quick minute-by-minute updates.

Stan agrees with us that press releases are an important tool for business owners and organization leaders to call attention to the good work that they are doing. He looks for releases that highlight:

  • A new business
  • A business that’s expanding
  • A shift in marketing strategy
  • An alteration in product
  • A change in or adding to members of a staff

When constructing a press release for your business, Stan advises keeping the following things in mind:

Clarity. Be clear about what is the news, what’s new, what’s different, why does your press release deserve space in the paper. Your intent should be immediate, the first thing that you learn about as you read.

Be Concise. Writing a few sentences is better than a few pages. There is not always time for the editor to read your entire release so only report on the essentials; don’t give a history of your business.

Media. Press releases can be delivered electronically by email, which gives you the advantage of being able to provide a link to your business’ website for the editor to reference if they want more information about your company.

Timing. If a press release is calling attention to a future event, it is better for the editor to receive it a month ahead of time rather than a week ahead of time. The more time that you allow the editor, the more time they have to work with you on coverage possibilities.

Contact Information. Be sure to provide the names and contact information for key people in your business that can field phone calls and set up possible interviews and photo shoots or provide more information about your company.

Persistence. If you haven’t heard back from an editor, follow-up with an email or phone call. This gets the attention of the editor and helps ensure that your press release hasn’t been forgotten at the bottom of a pile of work that the editor hasn’t had time to address. Don’t give up!

We help many clients with press releases. We’d be happy to help you as well. Contact Janice to suggest your press release idea. Or if you’re the DIY type, read our blog on sending press releases.


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