Why write a press release when you know reporters will be at an event, anyway?
That’s question I often hear. The answer is this: It can be even more important to have a written press release when you know reporters will be present.
It’s very hard for a reporter (or anyone else) to listen to a speech, much less a panel discussion or question-and-answer session with multiple speakers, and take notes with 100 percent accuracy.
If you put the important facts in writing, you know the reporter will have an accurate record of any numbers and your most important comments. If the reporter is called away to another breaking story before it’s your turn to speak, the reporter will at least know what you had to say.
Issuing a press release, of course, in no way obligates a reporter to use it. The media gets to decide what is published and what is left out.
Good reporters want to get the facts right. A well-written press release makes it easy for them to do so. The easier you make it for a reporter to cover you accurately, the more likely it is to happen.