Re: Online Press Releases
LISA MULLENNIX <lmullennix_at_laughingbird.com> WROTE:
> I've been doing some research on the value of sending
> out press releases online. I'm getting the impression
> that it will be difficult to get journalists to
> actually use your press release. I am hesitant to pay
> a lot of money to a company who specializes in press
> release distribution, since I have no foresight into
> the results.
> Does anyone have any experience sending out press
> releases on your own? How do you get a press release
> into a journalist's hands without spamming? Can
> anyone explain the value of sending out press
> releases? Any thoughts on this matter would be
> sincerely appreciated.
There are three essential ways to get journalists to pay
attention to your press releases: 1) have something
newsworthy to report 2) research 3) personal contact.
1- Newsworthy means newsworthy to the reporter's audience.
If you start selling something, it's newsworthy to you.
But you have to think what makes it important to the
journalist's readers and focus on that.
2 - You need to research what journalists write about your
type of product or service, so you aren't sending them
information they have no interest in at all. Also, call,
or if you can't get through or find a number, write and
ask, what method they prefer for receiving press releases
and news. Some prefer email, some fax. If you send email
to someone who you don't know and they only look at fax
press releases, they'll be deleted without opening them.
If you send a fax who isn't in the office at the time, or
who may never even set foot in the office, your story won't
get seen either.
3 - Another way is to get to know the reporters at least
by site when you can. That works better for local press -
you'll usually find them at various meetings and groups
in your area at industry conferences, conferences in
bigger cities, etc. I wound up as the lead subject in
one article in a special series Long Island Newsday was
running because I was at a technology association meeting
and someone introduced me to one the paper's reporters.
While we were talking, I mentioned an incident that was
exactly the type of anecdote she was looking for to
illustrate her story.
If you use a PR agency, be sure they have someone on staff
who knows YOUR audience and has active contacts with the
appropriate media. When I did a radio tour as a
spokesperson for a company, the PR agent knew all the hosts
and/or station managers by name and knew them well enough
to brief me on what type of interview to expect. The
station managers and hosts all knew her, too, and knew that
she brought them good guests. One called her back a couple
of months later to find a guest when they needed someone at
the last minute (same day!) for a half-hour interview on a
lunchtime show. (The agent called me, I happened to be free,
and everyone benefitted.. and got to know each other a bit
better - great for future publicity)
If you have something particularly newsworthy, and can't
find anything else, try email. I've even gotten publicity a
couple of times by just sending a note to "contact us" email
links asking who is the right person to contact with a
release about (whatever the subject was.)
There are other "tricks" of the trade - most of which
going to great lengths not to trick anyone - just finding
the right reporters and having real news. There are lots of
books on the subject. And I have a chapter in each of my
books on publicity. I think we have some information on
getting publicity on our Business Know-How web site, too.
If not, it's in our forums on AOL.
Janet Attard, author
- The Home Office and Small Business Answer Book
-Business Know-How: An Operational Guide for Home-Based and Micro-Sized
Businesses With Limited Budgets
AOL Keyword, Business Know-How
Received on Fri Aug 18 2000 - 08:20:36 CDT
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