7 Steps to Getting Publicity by Using Press Releases

by Kristin Marquet

Are you asking yourself, why hasn’t my company’s name been in ink yet?  Continue reading to find out why many editors and reporters gloss right over your press releases and why they end up in the garbage
Are you violating the cardinal rule of publicity?  If so, it’s because editors and journalists don’t care about you.  They don’t want to read self-serving press materials about who you are, how long you have been in business, or your accomplishments.  Their job is to deliver compelling news and stories to keep their readers interested. 

If you are serious about generating publicity for your brand and business, when drafting your next press release or pitch letter, follow this advice:

·  Editors and reporters don’t care about you or what you’ve done, unless it is going to interest their readers.  You need to find an interesting angle to hook the media.  The media wants to know how their readers can benefit from what you have to offer. 

·  Don’t write about your accomplishments or ideas unless it is needed.  Write about how your brand or service will be able to help their audience, thus research the demographics, and pitch the release accordingly.

·  Check the editorial calendar of the publication and send the release accordingly.  Make sure you address and send the release to the right person too.

·  One of the most common mistakes I see when press releases are written (I was guilty of this too when I first started), “The Iron Company proudly announces the release of…” or “XYZ Corporation is proud to announce a 50% increase in revenue last quarter…”  Yes, this is nice and good, but how is it going to benefit the end user, honestly?  The end user wants to know how you are going to better or improve his or her life. 

The headline of a press release needs to engage:

Ladies: Ultra Thin Fashion Models on the Runways of New York and LA, Set Unrealistic Weight Standards for General Public

Guys: Why does John, the Average Looking Guy, Get Smoking Hot Girls?  Finally, Learn the Real Secrets of how average guys like John Attracts Victoria’s Secret and Playboy Hot Girls

·  When writing a press release, discuss how your service or product will help the reporter and the audience.  Discuss the benefits.  If you are launching a new line of dog food, discuss how it will make the dog act nicer around strangers, run faster, feel better, behave better, or anything else that will get the attention of the audience.  You need to show how you are going to be the answer to their problems.  Once you demonstrate that you can solve their problems, the publicity process will pretty much become easy; the media will find you and publish your story. 

·  It can take up to 6 contacts to get a response from editors and journalists.  However, don’t pester editors and journalists by calling and following up every day.  Find out the editor or journalist’s preferred means of communication and use it.  When following up, keep your pitch to 30 seconds.  Editors and journalists don’t have a lot of time. 

Essentially, the more you can help the media make their stories interesting, the more publicity you will get.  Publicity could be an extremely valuable tool if it used properly.  If you need help organizing a press release or finding an angle, contact Kristin at km@marquet-communications.com.

Kristin Marquet is a regular contributor to the Secrets of Success blog.

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