Placing Your Press Release in the Media
Free publicity is the Holy Grail for businesses. Creating an eye-catching press release is an effective way to achieve this, but it’s not as easy as it seems. Journalists and editors receive hundreds of press releases every week and it can be easy for yours to get lost in the pile. The good news is that there are a few tricks you can use to make yours stand out.
The Write Angle: Know what makes your business special. You may have found an innovative way to save your customers money, or won an award for customer service. Editors love a ready-made news angle, so hit them with it straight away.
Tailor-made: If you have a strong idea of where you’d like your press release to be seen, study the media outlet carefully. Find out which slots would fit your business best and the name of the journalist or editor involved in that slot.
Distribution lists: If you don’t feel your press release fits anywhere, why not try a free distribution list? Journalists regularly scour these to find news items that will fill a convenient hole. The lists divide the press releases into categories, which should make it easier for the right journalists to find you.
Make it easy to read: A short, snappy press release with a catchy headline will leap out at editors. Put your press release in the main body of your email so they don’t have to search for it. And hit them with your angle straight away; don’t make them scrabble for it.
Use clear, simple language: Editors are interested in news and will sniff out shameless self-promotion in an incident. Don’t load your press release with marketing speak. Use clear simple words and bold imagery to invite editors to read on.
Follow-Up: Once you’ve sent your press release in, chase it in the same way as you chase customers. Place calls to editors a couple of days after you have sent it to ensure that they’ve received it. If you don’t succeed with a publication the first time, it’s worth trying again in a couple of months when you have a new story to tell.
You may be chomping at the bit to reach all those readers and listeners, but the editor is your first audience. Give them what they want and they’ll be happy to give you a hearing. Good luck.
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