EMPOWERING CHRISTIAN WOMEN: Fine Tuning Your Press Release - FREE Report Blogger Widgets

Fine Tuning Your Press Release - FREE Report

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Press Release Mis-steps
– What you don’t know can make all the difference
By Patrysha Korchinski

As a publicist, my job is to help my clients get media coverage. The tool I use most often on their behalf is the simple, but highly effective, press release. What I do isn’t rocket science; seeking publicity can be an in-house job for most small business owners.

Press releases can seem like a panacea for small business owners. The prospect of getting free publicity in exchange for a couple of hours of writing and submitting a 400 word release seems like a great deal. And on the surface – it is a great deal.

The publicity generated from one release picked up by a major media outlet can increase awareness and sales with a far greater impact than buying advertising in the same outlet.

Under the surface though, lurk thousand of disappointed publicity seekers who for one reason or another did not get the coverage they desired.

I used to believe that the reasons for the failed attempts lay mostly, if not entirely, on the message within the release.

The headline wasn’t strong enough
It read like a sales pitch rather than news
The subject wasn’t newsworthy

While those are definitely factors that will get your press release a one-way ticket to the circular file, most serious business owners I’ve met don’t fall victim to these mistakes. They took the time to craft newsworthy releases that were topical, relevant and well-written. They had the initiative to create a targeted media list to submit to – and yet still they struggled to get coverage.

What was going on?

It was only when I dug deeper and examined other aspects of their failed efforts that a few trends began to emerge. There are factors in press release pick up that the professional publicist innately utilizes for the benefit of their clients that most small business owners just aren’t aware of.

The timing of your submission is one component that is often to blame for poor results. You see, each media outlet has what is called a lead time. This is how far in advance they need to start working on stories that will eventually appear. Magazines with a large circulation tend to have the longest lead times, often 9 months or longer. If you send out a release geared towards Christmas to a major magazine in November, you’ve missed your window of opportunity by eight months!

You don’t necessarily need a publicist to get over these hurdles, you just need to be aware of what hurdles exist. Overcoming them is usually a fairly simple matter. As I said before, getting media coverage is not rocket science. You can improve your odds significantly with a little fine tuning.

---For more tips on turning the odds in your favor, you’ll want to grab the free special report.

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