Despite the rise in social media and digital PR, the backbone of any decent PR campaign is still a well-crafted and executed press/media release. Here are our top five tips to help anyone out there doing their own DIY PR.
Yours won’t be the first or the only releases a journalist, editor, blogger or influencer gets in a day. You’re competing with thousands of brands and PR agencies sending oceans of releases out every day and, on top of this, everyone you’re sending to already has their own agenda for the day and a plan for the stories, snippets and articles they want to research and write. They won’t be just sitting there waiting for your release to drop into their lap! So, whatever you send them needs to be original and unique, after all your company shines at something or you wouldn’t be in business and it’s that story that needs to be told to achieve coverage.
Don’t be overtly commercial
Sales content does not make for a good press/media release. A salesy release is in fact a BIG turn off for journalists who are after a great story for their readers, listeners or viewers. PR is not an advert. It is much more-subtle and although, ultimately, through PR you can increase sales via greater awareness of your business, it should not be viewed simply as a sales tool. Opinion-biased phrases are not what a journalist wants to print. If your story is good, then they will generally remove these when they use your release. However, having them in in the first place can cause a journalist to completely overlook your release and dismiss it as an advert and, therefore, of no importance.
Know who to contact
Good PR starts with knowing who your target audience is and how to reach them. Before you send anything, create a list of key contacts and how they like to be contacted.
Re-read everything you write over and over before sending it
If your press/media release includes errors or inconsistencies in detail, spelling mistakes, poor grammar or undigestible jargon, then you won’t get very far and your contacts won’t take you seriously. Ensure you include contact details for yourself and for anyone who could be interviewed, if you’re Ok for the journalist to contact them direct. Also remember that good press photography is essential these days and include a relevant image, that is well posed, with a caption and of the correct size.
Monitor coverage and thank a journalist for anything they use
Keep a track online and in the printed press of any coverage you receive and drop the journalist responsible a ‘thank you’ via social media or email. This is not just courteous and good practice, but it also helps remind your media contact that you are a reliable source for future stories and a worthwhile contact.
Porcupine PR team