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TIP: Send email or a fax containing only bare bones of your story. Put your release, background, executive bios, White Papers and other documentation on a unique URL on company web site. If you are asked to send more information, tell editor size of your file before you send it.
Should you send tsotchkes? Yes and No. Will sending tsotchkes (novelties) to editors help you get their attention? Yes and no. "It's a nuisance. I throw most of them away," says David Zeilenziger, who covers People In Business at Bloomberg Business. "But just yesterday I received a huge package from a consumer-related site and inside was just a candy bar. I did go to site and I called company. And they haven't returned my call."
"They don't help at all. I've got them scattered all over office," says Joachim. "If it's food, I leave it on table outside. Others I either share, give away or throw out."
"If they're clever they get my attention, but they don't necessarily get ink," says Crumpley. "A larger gift has taint of a bribe. So then we have to do something with it. We'll donate it to orphan's fund or something and then we have to write a letter to whoever sent it and say this is what we did. Who has time for all that?"
Dave Elbert, Business Editor of The Des Moines Register, Des Moines, IA, concurs, "We have an ethics code that prohibits accepting freebies and that means I have to find some way to dispose of them."
TIP: If your tsotchke is clever and small, you might not get a story, but you might get name recognition. Branding. Might hurt, could help.
Should you leave price of your product or another important detail out of your release? Yes and no. "I can see rationale," says Crumpley, "but it's a tricky call. If you know editor or reporter might be interested, it might be good strategy. If it's kind of a weak story, you might be shooting yourself in foot."
Clearly, positioning a company to receive press coverage so valuable in establishing a brand, attracting investors and selling products is not a simple matter.
Probably most important rule to remember is that journalists need to know what's new, what's hot and what's affecting a lot of people. Keep their needs in mind and you may very well end up with media coverage.
B.L. Ochman is president of whatsnextonline.com, a full-service marketing agency that builds global traffic and sales for Internet businesses. Subscribe to our weekly marketing tactics newsletter, What's Next Online, at http://www.whatsnextonline.com 212.385.2200 BLOchman@whatsnextonline.com