PR afficianado and the main man at BBPR, Bill Byrne posted a great story on his blog about how to get your company covered by media. Here are some excerpts:
Ever wonder why you sent out a press release and nothing happened? The reasons probably lie within what you're sending out, who you're sending it too and when it's being sent.
For many journalists, press releases are a quarter-step above SPAM. And some probably consider them a few steps below. Here are some things to consider before you start writing your next release.
Let's start with what you're sending.
I'm going to assume here that you're sending a press release to garner editorial coverage somewhere and not for SEO related purposes. So assuming you're sending it to a media outlet such as Men's Journal, Outside, Antenna, High Snobiety, Culture Shoq… somewhere where people write about things going on. If you're not sending it to someone who is a journalist… that's another story and I'm wondering why. Would you mass email JPG's of your brands latest ads your friends and colleagues? Would you hand out the same ad while waiting on line at the post office?
So what are you sending? Is your new packaging one-percent more recycled than last year? Did one of your ambassadors place eight in a regional event? Probably not newsworthy. BUT, these are the sorts of snippets that you may want to include in a round-up release – showcasing multiple touch points for your brand in the news – that you can post on your website, send to the trades for your industry, etc. That could work.
Say that your story (not press release) is newsworthy. Is your release readable, or is it filled with jargon, fluff and poor writing? Is it paradigm shifting for Web 5.0?
The release – in a formal sense – should have all the facts and stats a journalist may need to begin crafting a story. But personalize it with a pitch (more on that below) and explain how this is right for their audience.
If you do have some news, now you have to find the right people it's appropriate for. Generally speaking, it's "your list".
Before you send something out, think about if it's appropriate for the people you're sending it to? The "PR blast" is a tool that needs to go away… it annoys journalists more than it helps. In fact, get rid of the list. Target your press releases with a quick elevator-style pitch – or as some people call it – Tweeting. Put a 3-10 line description – keep it brief and relevant. If it sells the story, then the journalist will turn to the release for more.
It doesn't matter if you're a PR newbie or have friends throughout the world of journalizing, if your story isn't appropriate, they're not going to write about it. Antenna Magazine does not cover women's denim or skimboarding events. At least right now. Surfer's Village does not cover snowboarding news, so hold off on telling Bryan about that great Gore-Tex jacket you're company is coming out with – but do tell him about your your team did at the South Shore SUP BBQ & Bro-Down. Jeff KoyenCaveat Viator (in addition to writing about travel for many, many publications you've read before) is not going to cover your new headphone collaboration – unless of course they're extremely appropriate for travel. Trust me, I hung out with Jeff in Austin last month (name drop!). from
When it comes down to "the list", realize that if your story is appropriate, it won't really matter if you have all the contacts or not. You can find them. Walt Mossberg and the folks @ Cnet will cover your new MP3 player if it is indeed redefines the listening experience for lifestyle consumers with unique audio needs.
In all seriousness, the crew @ BBPR just did a project involving accessories for firearms enthusiasts… an area where the collective team here has very little background. That didn't matter to the client. We know how to write, how to find the right journalists and how to engage them. And we didn't mass blast to Jeff and remind him about some beers I may or may not have bought him in Austin (Name drop again! I'm very plugged into the travel scene!).
To read the full article, visit Bill’s blog, Experts & Insiders.