Trying to get publicity for your business or organization? When you follow these key press release tips, you dramatically improve your chances of getting picked up by the local newspapers.
1. Make Your Press Release Newsworthy
What is new about your business? If you open a new business in January, then let the newspapers know before the opening date so the news is current. Contacting the press the following June is no longer newsworthy information and won’t get published.
2. Take Advantage of Current Events or Seasonality
Editors are looking for stories that mesh with current events in the news or seasonality. For the best results, plan ahead by brainstorming a press angles for every month. This way you’ll always have an idea ready that can be tweaked and sent out right away.
3. Offer Editors Expert Advice
Whatever business you’re in, you are an expert in that field. Writers and reporters love to interview experts and use them as sources for articles. Getting quoted in the paper is just as good as having your press release printed – and sometimes better – because it dramatically adds to your credibility.
4. Follow the Newspaper’s Deadlines
There are two different deadlines you need to be aware of, follow and respect. The first is how far in advance does the paper want your “news story?” With weekly and often daily papers, they will need two – four weeks notice. The other timing to keep in mind is the paper’s own deadline. Ask editors what day of the week or time of day they are on deadline and then steer clear.
5. Craft a Captivating Subject Line or Headline
If sending your release via email, don’t write “press release” in your subject line. This is stating the obvious. Instead, grab an editor’s attention with a clever headline to stand out from the pile of faxes and emails they receive. There is only so much time in a day and newspaper people are extremely busy. Make it easy for them to want to publish your release and you will get better results.
6. Build a Relationship with Editors of Your Local Newspapers
This might not be true of all editors, but many will want to get to know you. This can be one of the best ways to become a resource expert. Call and ask to speak to the editor, prepare what you will say and make it worth their while. Once they start to get to know you, your materials will likely get more attention.
7. Persistence is the Key
Don’t just send one press release, get disappointed that it wasn’t published and then stop. Persistence will get you noticed. Eventually you will connect with an editor who has become familiar with your name and content and one day it just hits him/her right. Bingo – you’re in the paper. Send your press releases on a regular basis – even once a month to make a lasting and consistent impression.
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