Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Posting PR information online…

Richard Bailey and Jeremy Pepper have been writing about the use of Adobe Acrobat documents for online press rooms.

Here’s some additional thoughts on information formats online.


All press release posted on your website should use plain old HTML.  This means they can be read by anyone with a browser, and they can be easily copied and pasted into other documents.  Also remember to include your media contact details with every release. There�s a disturbing practice of removing PR contact details from posted press releases, but I think you should make it as easy as possible for a journalist to contact you so include those details.

Adobe Acrobat

While your press releases should be posted as HTML, it can be useful to also (not instead of) provide them in Acrobat format.  Why?  Well often HTML pages don�t print very well, so providing them in Acrobat solves that problem.

Microsoft Word

Never, ever publish press materials (or any other materials) as Microsoft Word documents.  There�s two primary reasons for this.  Firstly Word documents can contain viruses, but more importantly there are many documented cases of internal comments and changes being included, unbeknownst to the creator, in a published Word document. Don�t do it.

Plain Text

Sending press releases by e-mail should be done in plain text, end of story.  Save your funny fonts and your bright colors for children.


For the love of God, Jehova etc. do not send press releases in e-mail as attachments.  No matter how many journalists flag this as a pet peeve, people still do it. Break the chain.

Written by Tom Murphy

September 26, 2003 at 12:01 pm

Posted in General

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