Industry Buzz: Press Release Tips, Continued
Last week, I discussed tips for writing a press release that could be published at the local, regional and national level. Now, I’d like to expand on that topic even more, to further improve the chances of your news being published.
Customize Your Press Release
Although you shouldn’t change the actual contents of your press release, what you can change is the email that contains it. For example, instead of sending out a mass general email to the media, use names where possible. I’m more likely to respond to emails that say, “Dear Rachel,” versus, “To Whom it May Concern.”
In addition, if you have the time to write a short description of why an individual journalist should be interested in the story, that never hurts. I know I’m personally more likely to read a short summary of a press release right off the bat, until I’ve determined the release is worth my full attention.
Don’t assume your press release has been seen, just because you’ve emailed it. I receive tens of emails per day, and although I try my best to respond to each and every one, sometimes that just doesn’t happen the first time around. Therefore, be sure to follow-up. There have been quite a few instances where I’ve passed over an initial email containing a press release, and then published it soon after because the public relations manager was persistent.
Additionally, just because a journalist passed up one press release, it doesn’t mean they’ll pass up the second, or third one. However, if they do pass up the first one, ask what you should keep in mind when pitching a press release, or how they prefer to be contacted. Consideration can go a long way.
Have a Timeliness Factor
When writing a press release, ensure it’s about something recent or upcoming, so that it has an expiration date. This will encourage journalists to go ahead and publish the release, versus sitting on — and possibly forgetting — about it.
For example, if I know a club opening is happening on December 25th, I’m likely to publish the announcement either directly before or on the date of the opening — not after.
If you have any further questions on press release tips, feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I’m happy to help!
Rachel Zabonick is the Editor of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reach out to her about exciting events or programs your club has implemented, or to share the amazing accomplishments of a member.