Problems and Solutions

This isn’t another post on how to write a news release or “press release” as it is often called. There are already many excellent “how to” posts on writing efficient releases.

Instead after having reviewed and written hundreds of news releases over the decades, I’d like to provide the following tips for those looking to use this basic but crucial communications tool to gain the attention of the news media.

Is All There is?

Many business people equate doing news releases as a part of a public relations plan, but in reality it’s to public relations the same thing as flour to cakes. It’s important, but it’s not the sole ingredient. Do not rely on news announcements to raise your business’s image. For that you’ll need an effective, long-term strategy.

Make Direct

There are occasions when company representatives who are concerned about being held to account for inaccuracy add so many qualifying statements to the wording of a simple announcement release that its meaning is diminished or is a legal-looking document. A rule of thumb: If you’re not comfortable making your announcement without adding an explanation to each statement, you aren’t ready to release a press release.

“Get me to rewrite! 
Journalists receive hundreds of news releases every day If you’re not working for your employer, the White House or some other big company where millions of people want know what you’re up to the news release you send out better be written in a way to grab attention or risk going to be thrown away. Do not rely on an editor to go through it in order to figure out the meaning of your message and then tidy it up. They don’t have time for that. It should be clear, concise and entertaining.

News Means News

There are companies that can send news releases at the drop of the pen – Joe won an award Mary’s title was changed to Mary, the company was named one of the top 50 designers of widgets, Visit:-

by Widget Makers of America, and so on. The endless flow of this kind of “exciting news” is tossed onto the desks of editors and reporters until, eventually the company’s announcements are totally ignored. Why? because the writers don’t know the meaning of “news” is and end up earning that image with journalists. This isn’t a great practice, and usually stems from a lack of understanding. If you want to know what people think of as news, read the news, watch the news, and take a listen for the latest news.

Know What to Send It To

Deciding where to distribute your news release is crucial as well. Pay attention to the type of news reported in various news publications. Are there new executives at your company? Do you announce a new merchandise or service? Both of these news items could be assigned to completely different editors or news media depending on the person you’re with and what you’re selling. Make sure you do your research prior to submitting, and you’ll be much more successful in making your message known.

Maintain Contact

A list of contacts with news media is only the beginning. You will have maintain it regularly to ensure you have the right editorial contacts. I’ve seen a few dirty media lists over the years, and it’s one of the primary reasons events or announcements don’t get covered. Keep in mind that people are constantly changing at news agencies. They could leave for new opportunities, or just leave a particular “beat.” Do not rely on them to relay your information. Be aware of the correct person to approach with any information you have.

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