If you have ever worked in a publishing house, newspaper or a magazine before, you would know this when I say ‘we are sitting on pile and pile or read and unread news stuff sent in to us from so many sources that we do not know where to start’. Today’s post is a tip on how to get the press to pick up your piece of news without throwing it into the trash can.
The opening This is an incredibly useful and yet overlooked tip…editors and journalists start by skimming the first few sentences on that release and then make their decisions right there. Right then, they know in their minds whether they want to continue reading. Just imagine yourself as a journalists and you are looking at two, three piles of press releases…would you go through ALL of them and read each and every single one from the beginning right down to the end? Yes, that’s right. You probably won’t. And believe you me, almost all press releases sounds the same after a couple of years of receiving them.
The way to get them noticed is to be creative with the opening. Instead of telling them that they might want to feature your new product launch, your new service, or your new startup company, try telling them nothing of that sort. Trust me, it gets their attention (if you are lucky enough to get into their hands.
Remember this – every single one of your competitors almost always writers ‘We are pleased to announce that company X will be holding a charity event at venue Y at Z time…’.
Build a relationship by offering them something that could potentially make their jobs easier. This is not an easy task and it might even take some people years to do this but if successful, we are pretty sure you are going to get as many calls as you can possibly imagine. If you are a company, we bet that you are probably sitting on a lot of customer data that they might appreciate. You might have contacts to important people or someone who can shed light on certain situations. Yes, you may call this currying for favor or shoe-polishing but you know what? It works.
If your full intention is to get their attention, then this is one of the fastest, best way to do it without losing your integrity and there is nothing wrong with sharing a contact with the press. If the information is free to them and free to you, does this not make the situation a win-win one?
Meeting up in person Most of us have never met the journalists or editors that we pitch these press releases to because with technology, we have lost the ability to see that there is nothing more important than seeing the person face to face. Of course, we all don’t have the time of day to go around meeting everyone and sometimes, meeting them up is not even possible because of location but if there is an opportunity to actually making the effort of meeting up over some coffee (or tea, if you will have it), do it. It will, indeed, make your press release more noticed in the near future.
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