Your press release is written and sent. Now what?
“Don’t pester me too much,” advises Kelowna Daily Courier editor Pat Bulmer. ” Make sure I’m aware of your press release and we’ll take it from there.”
Bulmer says PR firms or businesses who send out press releases must remember their job ends and the reporter’s begins the moment they hit the send button.
“Once you’ve sent it, it’s kind of out of your hands and you’re subject to the heavy-news, slow-news day cycle that can never be predicted.”
Bulmer offered the following tips aimed at helping you get your press release (also referred to as a news release) published:
- Grab the reader’s attention quickly in the first sentence. If there’s a local angle, make sure it’s obvious
- Include contact information so the media can follow up
- Send the news release in the body of the email (not as an attachment). Most newsrooms use Mac computers so if you’re on a PC, email is definitely the way to go
- Call the editor or reporter once to see if the news release has been received and make the call brief. It’s always possible your email landed in the editor’s junk box rather than their in box
- Send news releases to the city editor and the beat editor but make sure to cc both
- Send high-quality photos with your press release but no grip and grins (where people are shaking hands) and no cheque-passing photos
- Target special sections (or reporters) including the home, entertainment or business section
- Give the media plenty of advance warning. If your event is tomorrow, don’t bother sending a news release (unless it’s breaking news of course). Give all media at least a week’s notice