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Marketers and public relations professionals can find plenty of advice on how to write a press release, but rarely is that advice directly from the journalists that press releases attempt to engage.

It turns out, journalists have a lot to say about press releases. It also turns out that marketers have a lot to learn.

Although I only recently joined an inbound marketing agency, I'm a 25-year veteran of the Chicago Sun-Times and the Contra Costa Times, among others. For decades I started my mornings weeding through the press releases in my inbox, one finger hovering over the "delete" key and ready to strike.

Wondering whether things have gotten better lately, I reached out to several journalist friends.

"Most of what I get is garbage," said Mary Pols, a longtime Portland Press-Herald/Sunday Telegram reporter who has also worked at the Los Angeles Times.


Follow these top 9 recommendations to stand out

As I spoke with my journalist friends, various tips and suggestions came up more than once. Use those tips to help your press release stand out from the ineffective and soon-to-be-deleted competition in your target journalist's inbox.

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image of Neil Hayes

Neil Hayes is content strategist at Clariant Creative Agency, where he helps companies tell their brand stories. He is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author.

Twitter: @bynhayes

LinkedIn: Neil Hayes