How to Stay on the Good Side of the Media


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When I used to work at the largest consumer-magazine publishers in the UK, the one thing that used to really grind away at the section editors was time-wasters. Specifically, people who would send in long, meandering, non-newsworthy or just totally unfocussed press releases. Rather than try to make sense of the tens of releases like this they would receive each day, they simply went into the ‘reject’ pile…

So if you truly wish your release to stand out and make sure it has a future, take note of the the ‘press release wish-list’:

  1. Do your homework. Get to know your editor’s audience, and make your release appeal to that audience. How? By studying at least several of the latest issues of the publication in question.
  2. Make sure you have something newsworthy to say. Although it sounds obvious, you’d be surprised to learn of just how many releases I saw that did not make this crucial grade.
  3. Place your news at the beginning of the release, preferably in the headline or at the very least in the opening sentence.
  4. Provide nuggets of information the scream “must be interviewed”. Be fresh, be original.
  5. Include a short yet compelling bio (aka boilerplate) at the foot of your release. Ideally, your USP, or point of difference, should be here, too.
  6. Finally, proofread your release for errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar. On the magazines I mentioned earlier, if we spotted more than one error in the first paragraph, we’d throw the release in the bin (unless it was a REALLY great story). We were fanatical about the quality of the written word (I still am!) and multiple typos and/or serious grammatical errors would give the impression that the author of the piece didn’t know or care about the message they were attempting to convey. We’d be saying: “Next!” and pass on the release. So make sure yours has been thoroughly proofed. Preferably by at least two pairs of ‘fresh’ eyes.

By Tracey Dooley, Copywriter Creative Consultant

Need more structured help in finding the right story angle, hook…or even publications for your next release? 

Powerhouse Publicity — How to Profit from the Media and Get FREE Publicity is a step-by-step system offering ‘tried-tested-and-proven’ techniques that, when followed, can give you the tools to publicise you, your company, your product or service! It’s packed with facts and tips that you can start applying straight away, too.



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