Mat Release FAQ
What is a Mat Release: FAQ
Mat releases are consumer-friendly feature news stories that are pre-packaged/pre-formatted (headline, photo, article) and distributed to syndication networks of hundreds or thousands of media outlets. Marketers, public relations professionals and communications departments use mat releases to amplify the reach of their content. Newspapers, magazines, TV news stations and other news outlets use mat releases to augment and expand the content they develop in-house.
The term “mat release” is actually a holdover from a pre-digital time when each page of a newspaper was designed, formatted and laid out by hand for printing presses. Mat releases were type-set, print-ready and circulated in standard sizes so that they could fill empty column inches that editors might be looking to fill.
Shrinking newsroom staff and shrinking newsroom budgets have created a new renaissance for mat release content. Our mat releases are developed to look, feel and read like a feature news piece so they blend in with news sites without the disruption of advertisements.
Press releases are formal announcements from an organization, be it a business, nonprofit, etc. Press releases, also referred to as news releases, are written for distribution to journalists, many times using services like PRNewswire or Businesswire. The subscribers of these wires are journalists, who use (or not) press releases to decide what news to cover. Mat releases (also referred to as matte releases), however, are pre-written news stories for a consumer audience. With a mat release, you are not dependent on a reporter/editor deciding to “cover” your press release and develop an article. Rather, your article is pre-written, consumer-friendly and posted to the 2,400 news media sites within our subscribing syndicate.
What’s the difference between NewsUSA and just sending my press release out through one of the press release distribution wire services?
If you are sending out a press release for purely legal, CYA reasons, that’s one thing. But normal people don’t read press releases, no matter how well written they may be. Press releases are for a different target audience: the press. Then, editors and reporters use press releases (or not, as the case often is) to determine what stories to cover. For mat releases, consumers are the direct audience – consumers who visit news sites and read news online. Our mat releases are written as educational & informative feature news stories (that happen to mention your brand and messaging). They blend seamlessly in with news sites via our syndication network, where pick-up and placement is guaranteed on 2,400 news sites (daily papers, TV news networks, etc.) that reach more than 170 million cumulative monthly viewers. Our in-house writers (who are former journalists) turn your brand or educational campaign material into what looks and reads like a real newspaper story, then NewsUSA distributes it nationwide to news sites and, if you opt, to radio news networks. Read more about our content creation and amplification.
First, our stories are written so well that almost every Top 100 daily has run them.
Second, our credibility with editors is such that they know they can trust us to provide quality, credible content (i.e., we don’t let our clients circulate mat release stories that could be regarded as false or misleading).
Third, media outfits are hungrier than ever for such trusted copy in light of all the recent newsroom layoffs. More and more newspapers and news outlets partner with NewsUSA and join our syndication network to use our matte releases monthly to supplement staff-written stories. They have content needs that we directly address.
Fourth, our proprietary, uber-sensitive tracking tool finds “hits” (media pick-ups) that others may miss.
We provide initial reports within 72 hours of the release of your story, then a final report three weeks later. You’ll access your report online with a user ID that we provide. All the metrics are there – along with clips and screengrabs – and full PDF and Excel reports are yours with a simple click. Read more about our results reports here.
It’s really a question of ensuring your article is written in a way that makes people want to read it. Doesn’t matter whether it’s on health, finances, food, home improvement or whatever. The key is providing useful information – tips always work, as long as they’re not all about your product – and remembering that these aren’t ads. The “secret sauce” is that they look, feel and read like a news story – one that just happens to include your brand benefits or educational messages. Attaining that desired goal is one of the big reasons you hire us. We have success with both “evergreen” pieces that can be used by editors year-round and time-bound stories tied to a holiday or awareness day (Valentine’s Day or National Women’s Health Week, for example).
Yes. In fact, that’s a great way to reinforce your message to consumers, and our writers will help you come up with different angles to make each story seem fresh. See how one of our clients, a roofing manufacturer, worked with NewsUSA on a series of stories on home improvement topics.
Mat releases are typically 300-500 words, with a catchy headline and an accompanying photo.
If I don’t need the writing support that NewsUSA offers and already have an article that is ready to go, is there a discount?
Everybody needs an editor. (If they didn’t, newsroom layoffs would really skyrocket.) That includes you, and/or your PR agency. So the short answer is, alas, no. There is no discount. That said, we always want to collaborate with you and can absolutely work with content that you provide. We just want to make sure that our mat releases are written in the correct style for our news syndicate, and many times, editing on our end is required.
We have suggestions on timing for certain themes of mat releases, tied to health awareness months, holidays, etc. Please click here to view our editorial calendar
Our CEO, Rick Smith, likes to say that we are a “PR pros’ best friend.” Meaning, in no way do we compete with them. Rather, we are a helpful partner. PR agencies and in-house PR and marketing teams routinely turn to NewsUSA for guaranteed print and online placements to bolster their brands and their outreach campaigns, as we can deliver guaranteed media placements (2,400!) and guaranteed reach (170 million!) over our syndication network. That said, we do sometimes work directly with individuals who perhaps can’t afford to hire a PR agency – there’s no monthly retainer fee with us – and are just looking for some quick publicity and visibility via one or more of our content syndication services. We are NOT a PR agency, but we are a core part of PR campaigns to reach consumer audiences with information, education and calls to action.
We offer the largest syndication network in the mat release space – guaranteeing 2,400+ placements on news sites that reach a cumulative monthly audience of more than 170 million. But that’s not the only reason. Visit the Why NewsUSA page to learn more about our credibility and experience.