Top tips to getting your aerospace news published

Written by Jeremy Parkin, owner of, this article started off as a guest post for Aerospace Marketing Lab.  Regularly reviewed and updated, what follows is highly specific, actionable advice about what journalists do and not want from aerospace marketers in their PR outreach efforts. Read and follow these tips and your media profile will improve — guaranteed.

Editors are busy people, but you want your news item to get read and used. The more your stories, images and videos can be seen, the more your organisational profile will rise and be recognized compared to your competitors. Journalists could be out of their office, so these tips will help you reach people who may work for extended periods of time off a smart phone or tablet.

A key part of the process is to present the information in the most accessible way, and from my experience launching and building the world’s first helicopter industry news website, I hope these tips will guide you to better success in promoting your news. I also have a significant background in the IT industry, particularly social media, and I hope these insights assist in that arena, too.

  1. Document formats The text of your press release needs to be easily accessible by an editor.  You want them to cut and paste quotes from your key people. We are much less likely to use a PDF press release and will prioritize a Word document. Better still, just put the text of your press release in the body of an email.
  2. Language options.  If your primary language is not the aviation industry standard English, then produce press releases in English in addition to your own local language – you are limiting your reach in our industry if you don’t.
  3. Multiple stories If you are sending two stories, send them as separate emails, ideally a week or more apart, and ensure they are distinctly different. A few years back, an OEM took to issuing a new press release for every single country that approved a higher MTOW for a particular model, in some cases countries where they needed lots of optimism to even sell an aircraft.  That soon became a “Boy Who Cried Wolf” situation and we exercised the [Del] button.
  4. Embargo dates/times.  Send editors key press releases ahead of big events or your message will be lost in the mayhem of emails during the event.  State the embargo date and time clearly (eg in red) and we can then schedule the release in advance with that date/time set for you eg to coincide with a press conference
  5. How many images? Every press release needs an image or more – the saying “A picture is worth 1,000 words” will always hold true.   If you are sending more than two or three images, consider supplying them via a link to a public-access folder on or similar system
  6. Image File Format  As is entirely online, we prefer JPG. Media outlets that encumber themselves with hard copy issues may prefer PNG format images, but will still be able to handle JPG.  Images embedded into PDF/Word files are ignored as too difficult to extract in a good enough quality level, even if it is technically possible.
  7. Image Distribution  Send images as attachments, not in the body of an email.   Be careful using a wire service, as some of them will routinely make smaller image size s available and force an editor to sign up to something to get full-size images.  Editors do not have the time for this — the chances they will sign up are low.
  8. Image Size  To present your image at a quality level which can be used, the minimum dimension should be 2000 pixels.  Smartphones are capable of 3-4000 pixel images, so there is no excuse!  At least a third of the images we receive are 1500 pixels across or less, and we ignore them.  As a comparison, we regularly receive 6000+ pixel images
  9. Presenting the subject in an Image  Flying means wings or rotor blades, and these make for landscape images (wider than high). But the editor may have a portrait (higher than wide) gap to fill.  Leave “editing space” around the subject.  At we post two news-related images to Instagram every weekday, and that usually means square images. We also change our header image weekly on Twitter – and that needs an image three times wider than its height.
  10. Lighting and weather  We ignore dreary photos unless the subject is really important. Improve your images using free software such as GIMP.  Dreary images which need editing time will be ignored and you are simply saying you don’t care about your corporate PR.  Use a professional photographer if possible.
  11. Corporate image bank  Ensure there is a good selection of professional images on your website for editors to use.  This should include multiple images of each type of aircraft you work with, the different roles/tasks you get involved in, your corporate logo, and head shots of key people in your organisation.
  12. Video format/location Press release video remains rare, but the click-through to a video online is remarkably high (particularly on social media), so the cost would well be worth the effort, even if the video is less than 60 seconds long.  Minimum format is HD these days, and some in 4K. Some aviation organisations are using 360-degree videos, particularly for aircraft interiors or to show details of an equipment installation. Put videos YouTubeVimeo or Wistia so they can then be embedded easily into a story online. The vicarious benefit is the extra views from the search traffic of those sites – remember, YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine.  We recommend GearUp.TV for video PR support in the aviation industry.
  13. Compressed file formats Do not submit ZIP files; they are too much hassle for editors. People who ZIP a JPG file are demonstrating that they don’t know that JPG format is already a compressed file format.
  14. Social Media – ensure that links to your corporate social feeds are readily available on your website – particularly LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
  15. Use an aviation-specialist PR agency if you are in any doubt about any point above.  We recommend Emerald Media – speak to Alison Chambers there.

by Jeremy Parkin, publisher of

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