irrelevant press releases

Quit sending irrelevant press releases!

As the editor of a monthly magazine, I receive many irrelevant press releases. All that those press releases achieve is to annoy the heck out of me. Your lesson from this? Quit sending irrelevant press releases.

Learn what topics are relevant

How do you learn what’s relevant?

Of course, the fastest solution may be to phone the magazine to ask, but you can do less-personal research. First, look at a sample or two of the magazine to figure out if it covers topics relevant to your organization.

If flipping the magazine’s pages doesn’t answer that question, look for the magazine’s information aimed at advertisers, which may be called a media kit. These materials often list the topics covered by the magazine. Plus, they typically describe the magazine’s readership giving you an idea of whether those readers are an attractive target for you.

Figure out if the magazine has a place to use your information

Your next hurdle is to figure out if the magazine might do something with your press release. Just because your topic is relevant to the magazine doesn’t mean the magazine can use it.

Earlier in my career, I worked for a publication with a column that ran snippets from press releases about new products and the like. There was also a press release-fueled column about new hires and promotions. If you find a similar column in your target population, add it to your press release list. If you don’t find a column that relies on press releases as fodder, look at the magazine’s articles. Are they written by professional writers who interview sources like you? Then the magazine may be an appropriate target.

In my current role, I don’t have similar columns, except for a column that highlights media mentions for members only. Also, the magazine relies on articles written by financial services experts, so I’m not going to interview your experts for an article. I’m a bit cranky about the many press releases I receive because there’s virtually no press release or interview pitch that’s appropriate for me.

The organization that I work for has filters to screen out press releases. If your press release sneaks through, I set up a rule to direct your future emails into a PR folder, never to be seen again.

A realist’s perspective on irrelevant press releases

I’m a realist. I figure you’re probably going to continue sending press releases. However, realize your releases may get ignored, or even marked as spam. But, occasionally, you may get a good results that makes it all seem worthwhile.


For another one of my cranky posts about press releases, read “Quit sending press releases as attachments!