What’s a news release vs. a pitch?

February 13, 2019

In University Public Relations, we frequently use news releases and pitches to garner earned media. Sometimes people use them interchangeably, so it’s important to know the difference.

A news release is generally longer than a pitch and gives “the whole story,” including the who, what, when, where and why of a story. Journalists may not need any additional information and sometimes publish a news release as is.

News releases also tend to be more widely distributed. At University Relations, we send our releases to a wide list of local, national and international reporters.

Pitches function more like a teaser to journalists to spark their curiosity to learn more.

They tend to be shorter and more informal (think of a snapshot) than a press release. Pitches are often punchier because they should communicate what the story is about, why the reporter (or community) should care and how the reporter can learn more, all within a few sentences.

Pitches are generally sent to a shorter list of reporters via email and may be offered as an exclusive to one journalist (read more about exclusives).

Working with University Public Relations, we can help you decide whether a news release or a pitch is more appropriate for your piece of news and your communication goals.

If you are interested in learning more about pitches and news releases, reach out to Katie Ousley with the University Public Relations team at katieo@umn.edu.