So, you are an official public relations professional, or, at least, have been tasked to fulfill those obligations. You are part writer, part investigative reporter, part informer, part secret holder and part relationship builder. One of the most important and exciting aspects of your job is to find the right media professional who is as excited as you are about your new announcement. You’ve done your research, made the introductions, provided them with your press release and now comes the critical mass – how do you assure your boss or your client that their announcement, which is now in the hands of a writer, will be properly displayed for all the world to see, or at least the buying public?
First of all, even with all the care and feeding of your target media contacts, whether or not your story makes the news is not up to you. Editorial coverage is a constantly changing, ever evolving means to an end that may not include your press release. But there are several key actions that you can take to put your press release and news at the top of the pile.
- Make sure your press release includes factual information, correct spelling, links to more information, your contact information and either an image or links to images that can be downloaded in web and print sizes.
- Make sure the people you are sending your release to are sincerely interested in your news. Sending a press release on your newest hiking boot will not get a read from a cycling editor.
- Do not immediately hound your press release recipients with phone calls and emails requesting a time frame for publication. These are busy people and nagging will only get you into the virtual trashcan faster!
- Return phone calls and emails promptly. Like immediately. They are on your story and if you delay, well, there is always your competition to call.
- Do you have a sample or test and evaluation program available? If not, more on that in another article!
- Have available more in-depth company information, images and, depending upon your announcement, you may want a technical contact to help the writer access more information.
- Finally, thank the writer when you do see your news in print or online. Writers don’t make a lot of money but a “thank you” makes you feel like you just earned a million!