Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Press Releases

I received an email from someone who appears to be connected with a non-profit and he is asking how to get a news release looked at by the desk and in what form. Fax? Deliver in person? email?

I told him that it's best to fax or email and follow up, but it's likely the follow up with be responded to with an "I never saw that, send it again."

Can we help this person? How can he break through the clutter of hundreds of PR, marketing and development types trying to get space in our paper or on our air?

15 Comments:

Blogger Ruben Bailey said...

Good luck!!

Basically it's the 2 P's-Persistence and Patience

And check your e-g-o at the door!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't bother me with a release that's trying to sell a product.
An author who wants to do book reviews.
A doctor wants to talk about the latest drug.
Etc.
People who call constantly asking, "did you get....?", drive me crazy. I always want to put their release at the bottom of the pile. (don't always do it, but want to.)
After a quick scan,I do tend to ignore email from people who want us to solve a personal problem.
Give me a good contact phone number and make sure someone is there to answer the phone when/if I call.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Easy...

Get to know the person you're pitching to --- make sure they know and care about you.

Make sure your topic is relevant to their beat. Don't pitch consumer electronics to a Food editor unless it's a product that's going to have cooks drooling and make their lives easier.

Have your pitch down to 1 minute or less. If you can't explain within a minute what you're doing and why it's important to that editor's readers, then you're sunk.

Different editors have different preferred ways to be contacted.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 10:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil Bernstein said...

There's a name for a process in which his message is guaranteed to be broadcast or printed:

It's called advertising, and I'd recommend that your friend buy some.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 1:26:00 PM  
Blogger Norm! said...

This is slightly off topic: How do consumer gripes get so much attention so quickly? Last week's story about the Southwest Airlines passenger who was ejected for wearing a offensive t-shirt seemed to make Reno and Portland media very quickly. The incident happened on Tuesday and the story made The Tribune's Friday edition. Did the ejected passenger, Lorrie Heasley, or her lawyer issue press releases to publicize the incident?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 1:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

E Mail one page. List the following in order:

1. THE DATE THE EVENT TAKES PLACE
(in big type)

2. THE TIME

3. One sentence on what it is

4. No More than two paragraphs about what it is

5. No Attachments please

6. Contact Phone number. Please add Cell phone if possible.

And yer only allowed ONE "Didja get my release" Call.

Please realize most times NO PROMISE will be made to cover the event. Please DO NOT CALL to get a PROMISE.

Feel free to email individual reporters but don't call the desk to ask for their e mail addresses.

Thank You.

(BTW Its tacky to tell me how rudely you've been treated by other desks)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 4:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"BTW Its tacky to tell me how rudely you've been treated by other desks"

I'm guessing that if you put in an honest amount of effort to answer PMI's question about how best to submit press releases, people would know the path to take, they wouldn't bug the wrong desk, they wouldn't get treated rudely because they bugged the wrong desk, and they wouldn't be calling you six times to ask if you got it.

Instead, it sounds like it's all about you (and your colleagues above). To hell with the public that is (supposed to be) your audience.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 7:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't they just take out an ad? That would probably make sure it gets published.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 9:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If someone calls me with a story idea or sends me a press release that is related to my beat, I tell them specifically why I am or am not interested. I can tell PDQ whether a press release is worth a story. If I don't find it newworthy is some way (maybe it's not worth more than a brief or a calendar item) I believe I am obligated to explain my position, especially if I'm dealing with someone who isn't nedia savvy. A good PR person knows how the game is played.

If someone calls me with a story idea or sends me a press release that's related to my beat, I try to connect them with the appropriate reporter or editor. I always explain that I'm making my best effort to get them to the right person but warn that I might miss the mark. I give them the right telephone number and ask them to call me back if they don't get what they need.

Probably the WORST THING TO DO for someone pitching a story is to send a blanket e-mail to a news organization or call a dozen people at one news outlet pitching the same story.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 11:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since I am the person who asked the question let me thank those who have answered. All comments are much appreciated.
XX

Thursday, October 13, 2005 8:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to visit again! Please feel free to visit my blog too at http://rushprnews.iuplog.com, RushPRnews Daily Gazette.
My site is ** RushPRnews press release services, distribution and free web posting** . Cordially, Anne Laszlo-Howard

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 6:41:00 PM  
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