So you have a great company, product, service or story and you want to share it with the world. And you think you want to send out press releases to all the news organizations all across the city. How do you get noticed? How do you make it past the pile of press releases, emails and stories?
You have to think outside the box a bit. By that I mean you need to make sure you are making yourself stand out, making sure your release stands out.
Here are just five tips I think might help....
1. Keep it simple
Don't send a two page, dense news release. I likely won't have time to read it, nor will I have the interest. Keep it simple and brief (especially if it is first contact. Send me a longer release once I am interested).
2. Write a great headline and/or opening sentence
Think about what is great about your product, service, company and tell me about it right off the top so I don't have to go searching for it.
3. Give it a HOOK
The best way for me to notice your product, service, company or story is make me care about it. To do that hook it to something happening in the news. For example, March break is approaching and that means lots of families will be traveling with kids on vacation AND you have a service, book or blog that focuses on travel or traveling with kids, so send me a quick release on some news-you-can-use tips on how to travel stress free.
4. Keep in touch BUT don't be a pest
Keep in mind that in my case our newsroom is a busy place and the news is always changing so I might not have time to get in touch on a Wednesday but maybe I will on Friday. So make sure you keep in touch with a quick email, maybe say you will check in with my on Thursday night for a quick phone call.
5. Try, and try ... and then try again.
Just remember if you are reaching out to a busy newsroom you might get bumped for news of the day if your story is something that can wait. Don't get discouraged. Sometimes the timing isn't right but if you keep in touch with me I will likely find time and room for it again soon. If I liked it the first time I will like it later.
***disclaimer: These tips are from my own experiences and my own opinions. There are lots of newsrooms and lots of different media outlets that have different criteria for story selection. Sometimes ( well actually a lot of the time) how we choose stories is completely personal and specifically tailored to the show and station we work for so what isn't right for me, could be perfect for someone else.