Getting the Most Out of Your Press- Top 10 Things You Need to Know

2. Avoid frivolous adjectives and jargon. Frivolous adjectives can be seen as “fluff” by journalists and may water down your story. Also, stay away from jargon. Although certain words may be common in your industry, outside your industry others may not understand them and journalists will skip your release if they can’t understand it. You want it as easy as possible for the media to reproduce your press release without having to ask questions, so explain everything.

3. Update your media database every six months. People change jobs and get promotions every day. Don’t take the chance of sending your release to a person who is no longer with the company. It will not get passed on to the correct person; it will just get thrown away.

4. Come up with a tag line that describes your business or organization. A tag line should be one paragraph in length and include the most important things one needs to know about your business or organization. What does your business do? Is there an acronym used? Once you have your tag line, it is important to make sure everyone uses the same tag line so that there are no mistakes with contact information or the angle your company is going after. After the body of your release, be sure to include contact information so journalists get in touch with the correct person for more information.

5. Don’t send your release to every contact you have. Be specific where you send your release. If journalists are flooded with releases from you that have nothing to do with the industry they are in, then at some point they will stop reading them because they assume they have not been specifically targeted. Stay away from this. For example, if you’re announcing a staff member’s promotion, don’t waste the time of the sport’s editor, send it to the editor of the section that runs that kind of news.

6. Designate one person to be the press contact person. It is much easier if there is only one person who handles all initial inquiries. Once this person has been named, make sure everyone in your company knows who it is so that when journalists call they are directed to speak to the correct person. This system will cut down on lost translation and misunderstandings about the company. This person will handle all initial questions and set up interviews with others if need be.

7. Keep the release short and to the point. Try to keep the release to one page and less than 400 words. The first paragraph should summarize the whole story and include who, what, when, where, why and how. The body of the release should then further explain the story.

8. If you are emailing the release to your contacts, start the subject line with “RELEASE” and then the most newsworthy part of your story.

9. Find out the preference of your contacts and stick to it. Today, there are several ways in which you can send your release. However, journalists may be particular about which outlet is used. Find out if they prefer fax, phone or email. If they have a preference, and you stick to it they will be much more likely to cover your story. If you do send emails, make sure your release is in the body of the email. With all of the computer viruses out there, many editors will not open attachments from unknown sources.

10. Send your release to local media, national media, trade publications and any organization you are affiliated with. Local publications are more likely to pick up your release because it is happening in their area, but be sure to send to both. You can find email addresses for your local media and national media outlets by searching for their sites on Google. Trade publications in your field and organizations you are involved in should also be notified. Organizations like to hear what their members are doing, it lets them brag.

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Posted Under: Dicks Nanton & Glass Media Group