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Do you have a customized media list to distribute your press releases? Are you using a public relations agency, or do you submit your press releases through a PR distribution service?

It doesn’t matter what method you use, what matters is yourmedia list publicity release or article reaches the reporters or editors that relate best to your industry. You need to target the right media. Using a general, catch-all list will not help your publicity campaign move forward. So what is the solution to reaching the right media?

I read an article called “Guide to Creating a Media List for Your PR” that has many of the answers.

If you don’t get a chance to read the article, I’ll give you a short review of what that author suggests.

1- Purchase a list.  There are companies that provide media lists for sale. You can start looking at Bulldog Reporter’s Media Base, or PR Essentials Company. Another well-known name in publicity services is BurrellesLuce.

2- Distribution Service. Several companies provide distribution of press releases. A few of them are: PRWeb, although a free service, to get full distribution, you will need to subscribe or upgrade from free to fee. eReleases and Advanced-PR are two other companies to consider. Each charges a fee. Another public relations service for distribution is 24-7 Press Release. They also have a fee.

3- Create your own custom list. This is good for pr clients or small pr firms that need to distribute locally, or in limited industries. Try NewsDirectory.com, or Yahoo! News Directory.

If you want to really get noticed, then you need to do more than just send out a press release or two. It requires an on-going effort. It requires hiring a public relations service company who can develop, write and distribute a full campaign. Did I mention that’s what we do? We are here to help you meet your publicity goals. Call George Carson today. He’ll get you noticed!

Searching for the right publications

I have been asked several times to explain how to write a press release and where to find the media.

PR WRITING TEMPLATE
It is difficult to draw a template about writing a release in these short blogs. If you feel that you have the talent to write the release than hiring a copywriter, I suggest visiting webwire who will give you a template, or format to follow. Once this is learned, you can make some modifications that suit your specific needs. But be aware; don’t wonder off creating a unique format, because this will only get your release tossed out.

Reporters do not like trying to understand your release by digging through a lot of colorful words, or hiding the "important" stuff somewhere in the body of the release. So check out this site, it might save you a lot of time.

WHERE’S THE MEDIA?
Good question. First you need to identify the market that you want to reach. If it is in the business industry, or more specific in the financial or accounting, or is your business in the entertainment industry…you need to target your market first.

Once this is established, you can locate sources of publications to reach. You can visit the library, or search the web for a company that provides a media list. There are several to choose from.

Now you can collect the information you need from each publication, such as editors name, publisher’s name, press release editor (some media have specific departments for releases), etc. Be sure you have a phone number as well to follow up after sending the releases.

Ok, hope this clears up some of those questions. If you still need help, contact me directly. I’ll be happy to get you going in the right direction.

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Developing a relationship with any person of the media requires time. The best way to begin this time process is to first create a media list of those publications, or broadcast editors, writers that you want to reach.

Then start providing newsworthy press releases about your company to them.

This may seem very basic, but this is the method most accepted by the press. Once you have sent the releases, follow up with a phone call. The call should be to ask if they received the release. Mention what the subject or content is about, but don’t try to tell the entire story.

If it is interesting to them, the editor or writer will ask to re-send it via email, or traditional mail. Sometimes you will be asked to contact a different person in the media department. This gives you another name to add to your media list.

Many times it is accepted to send these contacts an email telling them that you are sending a press release. Just mention the subject matter with a brief (one or two sentence) description.

Be considerate of their time and appreciate their position. The media people receive many releases per day and are approached by pr firms and companies to write a story on their specific topic.

So if your release doesn’t make it through the clutter, be patient. As I said earlier, relationships with the press takes time.

If you are following the publicity tips from yesterday, then you are ready to develop the press release, or story.

The headline you create for these should grab the attention of the editor, but not mislead them. Keep it short, to 12 words or less. Sometimes you might need to include a sub-head to help further make your point about the uniqueness of your product or service.

The format should also be easy to read. For example, if the release has urgency, put the words “for immediate release” on it. Have the contact information for the writer to call if he or she needs more information, at the top right side of the first page.

All body text should be double-spaced. Don’t type in all caps; this is annoying and difficult to read. Don’t use a lot of bold type either. Whenever possible have quotes from a senior level person of the company, or a third party who is endorsing the product.

It is best to have the release or story presented on company letterhead; this adds credibility to your presentation. For press releases, keep it to a maximum of two pages. Unless you are providing a chart or other visual aid. Articles and stories should be limited to 5 – 8 pages with support materials like photos, graphs, or charts. Always include any references to support your claims of the products uniqueness.

In all, keep the information you write factual, not sales copy. If you reviewed your media list, consider re-writing some of the body copy, or modifying the titles to fit the publication’s target audience. Send those re-written pieces to specific publications. For example, if your product has two market applications, the “consumer” editor will want to see something that is directed to their readers. Unlike a trade publication, they would want to see a product that not only fits a consumer demand, but shows retailers how it can increase sales.

Preparing your release or story like I mentioned will get you further into an editor’s or writer’s hand than someone who types a wordy letter and includes a “sales pitch style” release with dinner tickets to get their attention.

Now you’re ready to mail these out, right? Yes, go ahead. When a reporter calls and asks for additional information or a media kit what will you send them? You don’t know? You don’t have a press kit? For those who need to know what to say, and how to prepare a press kit, watch tomorrow’s article. I’ll explain that process.

See Also