The press release was written with no mistakes, explaining all the virtues of your company's remarkable product. It was sent to all the newspapers and TV stations, and you even managed to send it to select radio stations and bloggers.
So why didn't you receive one phone call from a reporter wanting to write a story? Why didn't that well-crafted release generate any new business?
There are multiple reasons companies often find themselves spinning their wheels when it comes to public relations. But the biggest one is not knowing the audience of the message, in this case the media representative who didn't find the press release to be all that fascinating.
Let's be honest: your company's product might be exciting to you and your employees, but if you aren't offering a fresh perspective or genuinely newsworthy angle to your pitch, reporters aren't going to pay attention.
When writing a press release, ask yourself why the readers of the targeted news outlet would care, and more importantly why they would care, now. Tie your announcement to a timely news topic that is specifically relevant to the readers of each targeted publication, and your release might just get some traction versus finding its way to the trash.
Remember that the media isn't in the business of providing free advertising. They want compelling stories to tell. So share with them how your new product will change the industry or benefit the community.
Do your research before pitching. If you are in the health care industry, don't send your announcement to a newspaper's real estate reporter. Keep in mind that reporters change beats often, so yesterday's real estate reporter could easily have the technology beat today.
If your company is having an event, notify the reporter with plenty of time to plan. A reporter needs to know about an announcement occurring on a Tuesday morning well before Monday night. Last-minute invites don't convey respect for the reporter's time; they instead make him feel as though he is an afterthought in your planning which just might irrevocably damage the relationship.
Also, understand that not every news outlet is created the same. TV stations are interested in material that can be conveyed in a quick sound bite. And it's even better if it has a visual component.
Newspapers have more space to tell your story, but that doesn't mean a reporter has time to write a 1,000-word fluff piece. Sometimes a 200-word mention is all that the story warrants. But that just means a well-worded press release that gets to the point quickly, and lends itself easily to that 200-word mention, will give your company a better chance of being covered.
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