Tips for getting a response to your press release or “PR”

Sending out a press release (PRs)?  Try these tips for better results. 

1)  Move all event information to the very first paragraph so if the PR is read by a computer (or even a bored human), the event info is read first.

2)  Move stats to the back of your PR. They offer motivation, but are rarely used by media from a PR (unless they are really interesting).  Instead, highlight your most unusual feature of the event or the most relevant information to either the paper or the community.

3)  Specifically invite the press (radio and media) and offer to accommodate them (i.e. “we have parking for remote broadcast camera trucks.”)

4)  Put the press release (PR) in text form so you can submit it to sites that have online, rather than email, submissions for PR announcements.

5) Offer the stations interviews on the day of with someone in the “know”.

6)  Only use one of two fonts (Times New Roman or Arial) because other fonts can get scrambled by older PR computer readers or computers, which still exist.

7)  Send out your request for media attention one week prior, then two days prior and then  the night before the event.  These are the times when media coverage decisions are made by newsrooms  (sometimes).

8)  Make sure you have a cell phone contact for the media to reach 24/7 prior and during to your event.   From experience the number the one reason that media cover some events and not others is because someone was there to answer the phone when they called. They don’t leave messages.

9) Finally, if you do get publicity, always send a thank you note to the reporter who ran the story.   Your relationship with a columnist, reporter or editor is more valuable than a press release.

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