No News Is BAD News!

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Silence is NOT golden!

                                     

Just because you get the news release done and out, doesn’t mean anybody cares!

I ran a small “News Release” workshop recently, and was reminded of how important news releases have become in the face of government-borne economic recovery impossibilities being shoved down the throats of struggling small businesses. When you can’t afford to advertise, you twist your message into news and release it into cyberspace.

Public and community relations are free

but not easy!

                                                                

The problem is that even after you’ve done a 100% perfect job of packaging what you want to say, the media people who get your release, simply don’t care. It has to suit their whimsy, sense of balance, and their boss’s mood… unless you’ve been holding hands and buying them lunches for years, and toss some advertising bucks their way!

To get around all thisyou actually do need to package your message 100% perfectly –format and content both. `It must be NEWSWORTHY.  Self-serving, salesy, promotional, and contrived releases get deleted and trashed in record time. Editors and writers and news directors are usually much smarter than the companies they work for.

You’re expecting free publicity. What you say has to make a difference for your recipient’s audience.

Every release needs a personalized, respectful, courteous cover note that thanks the recipient for her or his time and consideration. It also needs to make some kick-butt statement about what makes the attached/enclosed release important to the recipient’s audience. You need to know the readers and viewers as well as the editors and writers.

So, random “Dear Talking Head” notes? No.

Homework first? Yes.

 ————————————

 A while back, I read a blog post by Laurie Halter:

“The Press Release Is Dead.”

                                              

Don’t believe it. Especially from someone who still -archaically– calls it a “Press” release! (Though she happens to be a truly superb writer!). The point is she’s wrong.

It has simply become much harder to make news releases work, but for those who persevere and are willing to trade hard work and a tenacious follow-up effort for free exposure that is proven to be over ten times more credible than paid advertising, the return on investment can be great.

All of this of course assumes (I know, I know, a dangerous word) that you are prepared to be exceptionally creative in the manner with which you present your newsworthiness. Like a billboard or online banner, catchy short (six and seven-words max) headlines get results.

Your headline needs to attract attention, create interest, stimulate desire and –hopefully– bring about or promise action, along with offering some assurance of satisfaction. Just the headline alone? Yes, just the headline alone, in seven words or less!

The opening paragraph will ideally give the reader the who, what, when , where, why and how of what the release is all about, and do that in 3-4 lines of type. Open your release with your name and contact information (email address and phone number), and close with a standard block of descriptive “elevator speech” copy.

KEEP IT SIMPLE!

                                                            

Double check that the intended recipients are still employed where you’re directing your release, that they still spell their name the same, that they still have the same title, and that the email address/address is still the same. Media people live much more transient lives than most of us. One reporter I know changed jobs 3 times in one week!

If you are the boss, don’t expect miracles. Expect that the job is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and slow to get results (on the average, it takes 5-6 releases to the same person before actual news coverage is realistically considered. If your investment is backed by skillful writing and determined energy, you will get a return.

# # #

     Hal@Businessworks.US or 931.854.0474

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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