I once started a Twitter debate with a PR pro after I tweeted that adding the words “for immediate release” on pitches to reporters is unnecessary. The conversation inspired the PR pro to write a blog on the topic debating use of the term. I still don’t understand why PR pros add those words or other phrases such as “media advisory.” Here are a few reasons why:
1. Even if you don’t write “media advisory,” no one is going to mistake your news release as an advisory from the U.S. Coast Guard or National Weather Service.
2. If you’re married to the words “media advisory,” save the phrase for straight forward, nuts and bolts news releases that accomplish little more than share information. Send such pitches to the newsroom’s assignment desk, which can forward the story to the correct reporter.
3. Have journalists ever told you they accidentally deleted your pitch because you didn’t properly label it as a “media advisory”?
4. Whether you write “for immediate release” or not, reporters assume if you send it, they can use it immediately.
5. Just because a college professor or some PR agency taught you to write “media advisory” or “for immediate release” doesn’t make it meaningful or right.
6. Those two phrases at the top of a pitch often gave me a heads up I was about to read something that might put me to sleep.
7. If you write “for immediate release,” I assume you still type “www” before URLs and get your oil changed every 3,000 miles.
8. PR has changed since 1980, and so should the people who work in the industry.
Keith Yaskin was a TV reporter for 17 years. This article first appeared on his blog at TheFlipSideCommunications.com.