Experiences with press bulletins as seen from a local media perspective. For my work at the community radio station used to be chief editor for the TV channel, and therefore see a lot of press bulletins.
They come in many forms and sizes. The most dominant are the Police bulletins, they send regular updates, about twice a day, of their activities. These messages are quite short, and to the point.
Then there are the many voluntary organisations, that want to inform the radio station on their activities. These are mostly small stories and are often remarkably easy to edit.
Lastly, there are the businesses.
For some time, we’ve been getting more and more business related press bulletins. It seems some marketing agencies have discovered the ‘market’ of regional advertising. The problem is, most bulletins are very bad. More often then not, they are addressed to one medium, and then cc-ed to others. It gets quite silly when they ask you, as a TV channel, to place an article in your newspaper.
Then there’s the photography. It’s 80%% bad. I can forgive voluntary organisations. I can’t forgive the businesses. They dish out the cash for a marketing campaign, but won’t pay a photographer to shoot some proper photos. Instead they let some PR person snap some candids with a 100 euro digital camera, and think it’ll do. Well, here’s a message: Your pictures suck, we won’t place them, and they make your business look cheap.
They don’t have to provide pictures though. Another option is to provide a photo opportunity, and let the media send it’s own photographers. Most business bulletins are about new locations being opened, so you have an opening ceremony anyway. Just provide some well known person, and you’re set.
Another matter entirely is, should we, as a non-profit news medium, place corporate news at all? Should there be a special section for that, or should they pay for it as an advertisement?