In today’s competitive business arena, getting your company’s name in a newspaper or magazine for doing something POSITIVE is often difficult. From what I’ve seen, it’s not that the “news” you’re announcing isn’t publishable, it’s that the message was delivered in an improper manner.
Use the tips below to help get a positive message out to the masses.
Here’s your first tip: Don’t sell. Here’s your second tip: Really, don’t sell.
As a former reporter and section editor for a nationwide chain of business newspapers, I can tell you first and foremost that any press release that came across my desk without some sort of business angle went straight into the trash. Regardless of my relationship with the PR agency, if the release was nothing but hyperbole and doublespeak, there was no way, even if I felt the urge, it would get by my managing editor.
Here are just a few techniques and tips to follow in order to better your odds:
1. Don’t sell your reporter. Find out how he/she writes. Also find out what times throughout the day deadlines fall on – the closer to deadline, the better chance of getting your release published (reporters have quotas, too).
2. Keep the release concise. Reporters are minimalists. Give them the facts, give the facts quickly, and then get out. What do they want? You’ve always known the answer: who, what, where, when, why, how.
3. If at all possible, explain the business angle for the release. How does the product or service benefit consumers/investors? If a grand opening, detail location, store hours and phone number(s).
4. Make sure there’s at least one contact person (with title) listed on the release that IS NOT a marketing or PR representative. If the owner or general manager is not available to comment, list someone in lower management. It lends credibility and gives the reporter the “voice” editors require.
And that’s it in a nutshell. Follow these steps and you’ll find dealing with those pesky reporters is actually pretty simple. Give them the basics and save the fluff. Happy hunting.
About the Author:
Ken Salgat was a beat reporter for the Tampa Bay Business Journal for five years. He currently serves as the marketing manager for Magnets by PAC in Largo, Fla., www.magpac.com; (727) 541-6280. Magnets by PAC specializes in producing magnetic direct-mail advertising primarily for the pizza and hair salon industries.