Four Secrets to Writing a Successful Press Release
Regional newspapers, community publications, arts & entertainment weeklies, and online news sites are all excellent avenues for promoting your small- or mid-sized business in print. And, most news stories are the result of good, old-fashioned press releases (sent out by the subject of the story).
So how do you get harried reporters to pay attention to your press releases? Believe it or not, the top three success factors have nothing whatsoever to do with the actual document.
The #1 success factor: Knowing who to contact
No matter how good your press release, if it doesn’t end up in the hands of the right person, the chances of success are slim to none.
Your best bet is to simply note which reporters tend to cover which subjects in your area, then start sending your press releases and story ideas to those who write about businesses your size, your industry or the community you operate within.
If you can’t pinpoint the right reporter, find the most appropriate editor (usually listed by name and department on the news organization’s Web site). Editors are a bit harder to get excited, but if they like your release they’ll forward it to the right reporter.
Columnists are another good option. They generally write two or more columns a week and always need fresh ideas. They usually have more freedom than reporters to pick their subjects, and they’re often attracted to minor stories with offbeat or unusual angles.