Even if you think that social media has greatly revised today’s public relations world, the core of p.r. still exists: the basic concept of developing news about your organization and finding someone to publish it. Of course, that’s easier said than done. These three broad tips will help you to shore up your approach and hopefully get you more p.r. wins!
Tip #1 – Build It Right!
A well-constructed press release is a one-page document that tells a specific piece of news about your business. That’s all it is, so don’t try to make it anything more than that. The preparation that goes into a press release is all-important. It’s a lot like baking a pie; if the crust and the filling aren’t constructed the right way, then it’s going to be a pretty worthless pie.
Keep it to one page, have a compelling title, make sure it’s interesting (news-based), and never ever include marketing jargon, adjectives or opinion (unless within a quote). Keep in mind that it’s a very fine line between a press release and an advertisement. Editors and reporters know the difference very quickly.
Make it interesting, compelling and properly written. It may take you awhile, but that’s okay. Remember that it will all be worth the time if you get the press release to “hit.”
Tip #2 – Know Where You’re Going!
Decide which industry niche publications, business media, local media and electronic media are important to your p.r. mission and then determine the reporters and editors you need to target. Armed with your carefully crafted list of these media sources (and their contact information) in Excel or within your CRM system, separate these contacts into groups so that you only send what’s relevant to each group. Sending your press releases to the right places and to the right people makes all the difference in the world.
Build relationships with the journalists you deem key to your long-term mission … and then focus your efforts at them singularly when appropriate. Not all reporter relationships and not all media are equal. For example, Manufacturing Today and Global Manufacturing may be on your press release list, but you’ve determined that a strong relationship with reporters at Manufacturing Today aligns with your goals – and Global Manufacturing doesn’t warrant the relationship development efforts. In next week’s blog you’ll read more on forging relationships with reporters.
Tip #3 – Put Yourself in the Editor’s Shoes!
How do you get an editor to care about what you’re doing? What’s going to make them read what you’ve sent? What will then spark them to publish it? Thousands of press releases hit these people every day. What’s so special about your news that makes them want to move on it?
Editors and writers are very busy. Help them do their jobs. That will not only make your current press release effort a success, but it will set the stage for future successes. Remember it’s about them, not you.
The key is to find out their needs, what they’re thinking, their challenges and content desires through the course of conversation. Ask questions about their editorial calendar, past articles they’ve published and trends in the industry. You won’t know what’s truly important to them until you have these conversations – and they take time to develop.
Finally, never forget the hard truth: nobody is as interested in your business as you.