How Journalists use Newswires

By Mark Macias

There is a big difference between the newswires and the various PR Newswires. Don’t be misled with the PR newswires, thinking your story will get to journalists by posting a press release on their various platforms. Journalists don’t read PR newswires because they know these stories are nothing but advertisements.

How the Newswires Work in Newsrooms

I spent a career inside the newsrooms with CBS, NBC, newspaper newsrooms, national TV newsrooms and with local TV stations. They all work the same.

Every computer typically has access to various newswires that are syndicated by news organizations, like The Associated Press, Reuters, CNN, TV affiliate feeds, local newswires, etc. These different newswires inside the newsroom are all vetted sources for news. Reporters know when they review these different AP or Reuters stories that they are written by journalists.

It’s different with PR Newswires. Reporters know these press releases are written by publicists – not journalists. It’s another reason why many newsrooms don’t even provide access to these PR newswires. In a world where information needs to curated, newsroom leaders frequently choose the option to eliminate this PR feed.

When do Press Releases Work?

There is some value for posting press releases. It can help your business put a milestone on the record, or it can provide a platform for an announcement. An effective press release will be picked up by some news organizations as pure content, introducing your message directly to reporters. It can also help with SEO.

But just keep your expectations in check. Don’t assume the press release will go directly to reporters and alert them to your idea. You always still have to do the physical outreach.

So the next time you are debating about posting a press release, ask yourself why you want to do it? If you are posting the release to raise your online profile, then it could be a smart approach. But if you think that reporters will read your press release on the PR newswires, sadly, you’re mistaken.

Macias PR was named the 2015 and 2016 top PR Firm of the Year – USA by Finance Monthly. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He is also a PR contributor with CNBC, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice on timely business topics.