Press Releases ON-Line

Use the media that offers wide reach, on-line releases

If you are a pr pro, or in the publicity industry, you need to make sure that you are using all the resources available.

This means print, broadcast and of course, on-line.

Writing releases for the mass media, such as the print industry, requires information for the editor to feel it is newsworthy. This we already know. One important point is to make the release fit that industry. Sometimes its revising one or two paragraphs to make the release more appropriate to that readership.

Now lets move to on-line.

While print releases can be two to several pages long, on-line releases should not exceed 800 words. Actually it should be closer to 650 words or less. Don’t go the opposite and write something only 400 words.

As much as readers on the net like short reads, we want to feel that the information has value and content and was beneficial to us.

Keep the on-line source as part of your media mix when distributing press releases.

Another critical secret in on-line releases is to embed, or provide links. This cannot be done with other media outlets like broadcast and print. Don’t go crazy with links on every sentence, and make sure these links are support for the release.

The next step is to distribute the releases. Use a service that you know can handle on-line distribution as well as traditional. Some of these companies are PRNewswire, Bacon’s, and Business Wire. Also, remember to add the releases to your own web site.

One more thing you need to make sure you are doing to get the most of a release. In your web site, create a navigation button titled newsroom, pressroom, or something similar. Place the releases, and/or stories published in that section. Now you have an additional on-line presence with your releases.

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Fiction or Non-Fiction

What gets the attention of editors to publish your article

Everyone wants to read a good book. But what about an article that a reporter, or publisher or editor must put in their magazine, or other print media, do they prefer fiction or non-fiction.

It should go without saying, but the fiction stuff is what they really want. Sometimes publicity people, or pr writers get a little too close to the topic and want to make it more interesting so they add some non-fiction stuff to fluff up the story.

This is what gets you in trouble.

Fiction is what reporters want. Something that has a hook to it is not boring and yet has interest.

Ok, not every article you read is like that. And yes, a few boring articles enter this media.

I saw a pr article by Peter Turkington where he uses the 5 "w’s" to describe what you need in a good article. These are the who, what, where, when, why and how that we all learned in school and journalists classes. Peter goes on to say that the media looks for another "w". It is the Why should anyone care?

He explains that you need to make articles newsworthy. Well, we already know that. But I still feel as much as this is important, you also need to build relationships with the media. Because not everything you write, or read is full of newsworthy stuff. It just isn’t possible.

If you happen to have a unique product or your timing is good with the introduction of a product (such as security items since 911) you have a good chance to get some ink.

So as much as it is important to be newsworthy, it needs to be said that relationships with the media, and the timing of your story are also factors in getting something published.

You can expand on this further by knowing the publication, or the news media you are approaching. Know their readership and audience. Then make sure you have written the story for that audience and the editor/reporter to read.

These are some tips to getting in the news. Other ways exist, but for now consider these as a first start.

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Free Publicity Takes Work

Every business owner wants FREE publicity for their company, or for the new product that was in R & D for the past year. The reality is free publicity comes with a price, it’s called time. If you are willing to invest the time and effort it takes to gain favorable publicity, then keep reading.

So where do you start? You can spend a lot of money buying books on How To Get Publicity from places like AMAZON, or hire a PR consultant to teach you the tricks of getting in front of an editor. Whatever you choose, it requires a lot of time to learn these various methods. After getting all this education, you would then need to decide which road is best for your company.

An easier way is to just follow my collection of publicity tips. For the past twenty-five years I implemented pr campaigns and have met with many talented PR counselors to develop a simple process that you can use today.

To begin, you need to identify your market and make a media contact list of the publications, and news broadcast reporters who cover subjects that are related to your industry. Then determine if the newsworthy story is a local, regional or national. Be honest at this point, because if it is to be national, then prepare yourself for more time and effort to make this a success.

Your print media list should compile of daily newspapers, magazines, trade media publications, and association newsletters. Keep in mind that broadcast media (television and radio) will have varied lengths and formats, so be specific which ones you target for publicity.

Ok, now it’s time that you look at the story or release you want to present. Make sure it is not a waste of the editors’ time. Don’t make the story or press release sound like a sales pitch. And don’t provide PowerPoint presentations to them. Remember, the editors and writers have a job. It is to provide interesting and compelling stories to their readers. Do this test, have someone not in your company read your story. If that person doesn’t understand what you are saying, or is bored easily, then consider revising the story to be more interesting. Don’t get caught up on details of the product, or service. Talk about the benefits of what it will offer to the reader.

Before you mail, or send the story or press release go back and review the media list. This time check the publications editorial calendar. See if your story will fit into an upcoming feature in that publication. This will help get the attention of the editor faster than unrelated stories. If you do not see anything that will fit, then write a short cover letter that will briefly explain the enclosed story. Follow-up by phone a few days later is recommended. Only ask if they received your story, don’t try to pitch them on the phone.

These are some of the basics to help you get free publicity. Next time I will provide tips on presenting your story.

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