Press releases are great tools for getting free publicity for your — or your client’s — business. To be fully effective, however, it is important they are sent to the right people. In this article I will set out some guidelines to help ensure that this is the case.
Most importantly, of course, for a press release to stand any chance of being published or broadcast, it needs to get into the hands of people who are likely to be interested in its content.
Sending a press release to the editor of a national men’s magazine about the launch of a new knitting emporium is unlikely to be fruitful. Send that same press release to the editor of a weekly knitting magazine, on the other hand, and you could well expect it to be published as long as it contains some interesting and newsworthy information.
Submitting press releases is always somewhat hit and miss, but here are some guidelines that will help you to ensure that the former well outnumber the latter. In other words, here are five ways to ensure that your press release gets into the right hands at the right time…
1. Send releases of general local interest to editors of local newspapers and local radio and TV shows.
2. Send releases of specific local interest (e.g. of special interest to local fishermen) to editors of local specialist magazines which deal with the same subject (Middleton Fishing Monthly), and also to editors of local newspapers and local radio and TV shows.
3. Send releases of general national interest to editors of national newspapers and national radio and TV shows.
4. Send releases of specific national interest (e.g. of special interest to all new mothers) to editors of national specialist magazines which deal with the same subject (Mother and Baby), and also to editors of national newspapers and national radio and TV shows.
5. Send releases to the editor by name and not just to ‘The Editor’. Getting the name of an editor is simply a matter of telephoning his or her office beforehand.
There are various directories that can help you locate relevant newspapers, magazines, TV/radio stations, and so on, for example, Willings Press Guide and Benn’s Media. The latter is available in four volumes, covering the UK, Europe, North America and the rest of the world.
Don’t expect to get your story published every time — your release may be competing with hundreds of others — but when you do manage to get media coverage, the amount of interest it generates can more than justify the effort you put in.