The Key to Attracting Japanese Media is All About Trends and Timing

It is a given that the vast majority of PR professionals have slumps in:

Pitching a new product/service in hopes that it would get picked up by the media

Creating story angles that will capture the attention of the media

Writing press releases that capture the attention of the media

Meeting with the media in a time scarce environment

On top of that, these are just a mere fraction of the other work PR professionals have on their plate. Regarding international PR work, PR strategies and activities will vary depending on the country. This is also another hurdle international PR professionals have to constantly strategize to overcome. 

This article in particular will shed some light on how to effectively create a press release and when to consider sending it to capture the attention of the Japanese media.

Table of contents

1) PR for trending topics

2) Press releases to capture the attention of the media

3) When to send a press release

  1. PR for trending topics

How to make PR material that will stick out to the media?

For the most part, trending topics can be learned and examined through communication with other people as well as through market trends research. Some points to consider when conducting market trends research in particular:

– What is the recent big topic that the media is engaged with?

– Why is the topic trending? Is it a seasonal/social/new/unexpected topic?

– Can the product or service be replaced? If so, what is the importance of the product/service? (think from the viewpoint of the consumer)

– Can you add value to the topic? (think of your one unique sales point)

Although a rough outline of some points to consider, this is the flow of how to get a story to stick out to the media.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that trending topics are temporary and unless acted upon quickly, they become old news and the media will naturally become uninterested. 

  1. Press releases to capture the attention of the media

Upon coming up with a story pitch naturally comes writing the press release, which may prove to be as or even more difficult than coming up with the story. As long as the story pitch has an introduction, development, turn and conclusion, as well as a consistent point, writing a press release can be simple enough for even beginners. However, international PR professionals have to consider the different press release formats for varying countries. Japan, in particular, has a notably different format than most English press releases.

What are the words being used as material for this week?

When considering the first half of 2020, COVID-19 has been a major topic among others. COVID-19 and Coronavirus are definite keywords, but other keywords have developed through the topic such as “#Stay Home” (#OuchiJikan in Japan), “With Corona,” “After Corona,” etc. Using such keywords in a Japanese press release will often get the attention of the media. In addition, TV directors in Japan for example are constantly searching for new information to use in their projects. Should a well written press release that utilizes relevant keywords show up in the internet results, they may be quick to use it.

Titles, Sub-titles, Headers, and Images are IMPORTANT

The title, sub-title, headers, and images have much importance in a Japanese press release. When considering the elements of a press release, it is always important to think about who in the media will receive it. Especially when sending press releases through email, if the title of email does not capture the attention of the journalist, it will automatically be looked over or even trashed, something common among most media spheres. Images play an important role as well as the media utilizes images for promotional purposes. Titles and headers alone are not typically organized in a way that is easy to understand, so images help convey the message of the press release. Without the proper image, it is safe to assume that journalists will be uninterested to read further. Lastly, sub-titles are used to convey the most important information of the release. They tend to be written in bold and in large text to emphasize the message.

  1. When to send a press release

The press release has been created with trending topics in mind, it has been written in a way that capitalizes on the title, sub-title, header, and images, and what is left is sending the press release to the media. If the timing is off, all of the work put into creating the press release may surely go to waste, so it is important to consider it carefully.

Send the press release while the topic is still trending 

As mentioned before, if action is not taken within the trend lifespan, the overall message will likely not get picked up by those in the media who have likely moved onto newer topics. Avoiding this is simple as it requires proper scheduling and proactivity. With those two, one can put out an effective press release in a timely manner.

You can send the same press release several times

It can be said that sending the same press release multiple times to the same media outlets is a sure way to get blacklisted. However, there are some things to consider:

  1. Occasionally press releases are simply overlooked
  2. Planning from the media side was not yet developed enough to utilize the information
  3. Some media may feel the timing is not right on their end

To address these points, it would be beneficial to remake the already sent press release by reorganizing it (title, sub-titles, headers, etc.), and including/replacing the images. Once the updated press release is completed, timing should be considered again. 


Every country has a different media sphere, and likewise PR work varies as well. Japan in particular has a relatively different media and PR sphere, but there are commonalities. Like for most media, an effective press release can capture the attention of journalists should it utilize the proper elements and stay relevant to trending topics.