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How do you distribute your media announcement? Call and tell your news to person in newsroom who answers phone. Then email, fax, or regular mail your announcement. It doesn't hurt to do all three (some editors might get annoyed, but most aren't that organized and appreciate you making sure they get multiple opportunities to use material).
Above all, make sure you are ready and available to provide more details. The entire point of a media announcement is to get editor interested and on phone with you. Many like to email. Provide several phone numbers where you can be reached and an email address you check often. Many times a reporter will call you hours or minutes before deadline. Fail to get back with them quickly, and your story will be skipped.
Some editors may say "send me more information..fast!" Have a press packet ready. This could include an expanded version of your media release. Add more information to it to get a full page press release. Photos also work well if you regular mail them or put them on a web page. A link to page can go in your press release.
A cover letter isn't necessary, but it's a good idea to include a bio sheet. Tell what your business or organization does, how you got started, your history, and your plans for future. Be sure to include quotes that could be used in an article or on air.
Broadcast media--radio and TV--like a list of questions they can ask you. You can also provide answers to questions. This can work well for print media as well.
What editors really want is for you to help them do their job. When I was in media, I gave away thousands in free publicity. I never looked at it as giving away publicity, just as looking for interesting stories my audience would appreciate. If a business helped me do that, then I was more than happy to give them a "plug," mentioning their name and product.
Be persistent. Send just one media announcement out and you probably won't get much response. Success comes when you consistently look for ideas or events to tell media about.
The biggest PR successes haven't come from great stories as much as from small business folks who just won't give up. Take out a calendar and jot down events you could stage over next few months. It might be an event at your store, one you put on with a local charity, a new section of your web site, or you as activist in a local controversy or cause.
Kevin Nunley writes press releases and sends them to 5,000 media nationwide. "I've never seen a business that couldn't get free media." See his PR deals at http://DrNunley.com Reach Kevin at mailto:email@example.com or 801-328-9006.