By Kathleen Gage
One of the greatest ways to promote your product or
service is with
publicity. Many people have little, if any, understanding of how to
go about securing publicity, never mind free publicity. Fact is,
people will pay more attention to free publicity than they often do
to paid advertising.
A simple way to gain free publicity is to write and distribute a well-
written and well-formatted press release. A good press release is
one of the most effective, and yet, most underutilized, of publicity
tools. Simply put, a press release is an announcement you send to
magazines, trade journals, newspapers, and newsletters. Also to radio
and television. Often what you send to radio and television are
referred to as PSA's (Public Service Announcements).
I have one client who hosted an event and submitted one well-written
and well-distributed press releases to the media. When the release
made it in print, they went from having a 50% booking for their event
through some direct mail efforts to filling up the entire room in
less than 48 hours. This was worth a substantial amount of money to
Prior to writing a press release, determine the following:
- Who is your target market?
- What is your target media?
- Who is the contact person at the media outlet?
- What is the timeframe for submission?
- Do you have an attention-grabbing headline?
- Do you know the who, what, when, where, why, how?
- Do you have good quotes, research and technical date if
Develop a system for writing and distribution of releases. Stay
organized. Know how to send the press release to a specific media
outlet and person. Each has their own preference as to how they want
to receive it. It will be to your benefit to find out. A quick phone
call will often provide you with this key information.
Editors are inundated with information. If you want their attention
keep the release short and to the point. During busy times, like
before a huge event in a city, they will be in information overload.
Don't use massive amounts of buzzwords such as "its all-new,
interactive, interoperable, cross-platform, new multimedia solution."
Avoid jargon. The general public will have no idea what your industry
jargon means and editors rarely will take time to find out.
Give them the who/what/when/where/why as articulately as you can.
Make your information is complete. Incomplete information is far more
likely to get your press release in the trash bin than anything else.
The 5 Ws of writing a press release or PSA.
Who should attend? Who will be there?
What is taking place? What will come from this event? Is it a
When is it happening?
Where will this occur?
Why would people be interested in the information? Why would they
attend the event?
Sending press releases
Many journalists prefer that you send press releases via e-mail. You
will find some die-hard snail mail folks, and a few who like faxes.
If you're about to start working with a new journalist, and you're
not sure how they prefer to receive their press information, ask.
Once they tell you how they prefer the information, honor that
E-mail should be sent as a plain text file: the simpler, the better.
Do not send a press release via email with an attachment. Most media
people will automatically delete due to the concern of a virus. Do
not send your email out via a mass email. Actually, if you use a good
contact management database, you can send it by mass email and it
appears as if each is a personalized email. Don't send a press
release to your entire press list, with the entire recipient list
When an editor calls for more information, respond to their call as
quickly and professionally as possible. There is not substitute for
building good relationships with the media. Don't ever think you are
too busy for them.
By making yourself available for the media, they tend to make
themselves available for you. And what more could you possibly ask
How to Write Press Releases that Get Published
Few people who write a news release really think about what they want the editor to do after they receive and read a news
with Press Releases
A press release is not a sales letter, but rather a brief letter announcing something newsworthy that can be distributed to various media outlets. It is important to distinguish between a sales letter and a press release because if your press release sounds like a sales letter, it will easily find its way into the waste paper basket. It needs to "inform" people, NOT sell them something.
Why Do You Want PR?
Why Do You Want PR?
To get someone's name in the newspaper or a
product mention on a radio talk show?
The Best PR Has to Offer Managers
When you, as a unit manager for a business, non-profit or
association, take these steps to help persuade your key outside
stakeholders to your way of thinking, then help move them to
take actions that lead to your managerial success, that IS the best PR has to offer. managers.