Write | Market | Design

Learn how to hire an editor TODAY!

Claim your FREE copy of our First-Time Author's Guide to Hiring the Right Editor for YOU!


* Required  
 
   
  HOME   WRITE   MARKET   DESIGN   GALLERY   SPEAKING   STORE   RESOURCES   MEDIA   ABOUT
   
  Click here for info on creating a MEDIA KIT or building your website's MEDIA ROOM.
   
 

Want to learn how to make your MEDIA RELEASE
stand out in the crowd? Keep reading!

   
  See these articles for more information on PR and Media.
   
 

Media Releases

   
 

The media needs content - from YOU!Many authors, entrepreneurs, and small business owners have a very skewed perception that the media is out of reach from them. The fact is, the media NEEDS you, your content, and your story ideas. With the exception of hard news (usually the front page and Metro sections of the paper and the lead story on the evening news) stock reports, and sports scores, virtually everything else in all forms of traditional media is planned out ahead of time. (Social media is another story.)

 
This means there is lots of room for you to alert the media about your book or other newsworthy item with a phone call or MEDIA RELEASE. Sure, you might think, everybody's doing it. Fact is, they're not. And when they are, very often they are doing a poor job of it.

     
  d
 
Why Media Releases Work
d
 
 

Many small businesses have limited budgets when it comes to marketing and public relations. If your budget forces you to choose between spending your dollars on advertising vs. spending them on public relations, a good PR person will get you more bang for your buck every time. The job of a PR firm is to get you face time in the media, whether in the form of an article in the local paper or a spot on a national news program.

Which do you think carries more weight with readers and viewers? An ad they know you paid for, or a third-party story about you, your company, or your event?

QUESTION:    Do you have to hire a PR firm to get your media release noticed?

ANSWER:       It’s a good idea — but it’s not always necessary.

 

It is possible to have your story picked up from a media release you write yourself. A well written media release, put in front of the right editor or news programmer, will generate a story — regardless of whether you hired a PR person to write it for you, or you wrote it yourself.

 
     
 
d
 
Reasons to Write and Send a Media Release
d
 
     
  Find something newsworthy about your business or organization. Some PR newsletters suggest sending out a minimum of one media release per week, the idea being to get your name in front of the people who can help you, and keep it there. There’s a fine line, though, between being persistent and being a pest.  
     
  Besides Launching Your Book, What’s Newsworthy About It?  
 
  • You're doing signings in new locations.

  • You've been invited to speak at a prestigious event.

  • Your book is seasonal in nature.

  • You can tie your book to a popular trend.

  • You’ve added exciting new staff members to your team.

  • You’ve established a new partnership or secured a distinguished new client.

  • You or one of your staff receives a promotion.

  • You or one of your staff has been acknowledged
    for a significant achievement.

  • You are sponsoring an author networking event.

 
  • Your book has won an honor or an award, even if it's not for writing (e.g., cover design, layout, translation, etc.).

  • You are sponsoring or participating in a community service event.

  • You are partnering with a charity or community organization to create opportunities for the less fortunate.

  • You’ve donated books or volunteered time to a nonprofit.

  • You’ve exceeded your quarterly or annual financial goals.  

 
   
 

Ready to begin? Let's Get Started NOW!

 
     
  Media releases go to the editor, and THEN the readers/viewers  
     
 
d
 
Tips for Crafting a Successful Media Release
d
 
   
 
  1. Use the term “media release” instead of “press release.” There are many forms of media now — “press” is passé, and some editors are touchy about the term.

  2. Understand that you a media release is addressed to the editor or reporter; do not make the mistake of "writing to" your target audience. Your only goal is to generate enough interest so that a reporter will call you for more information. When they decide your release merits a story, that will  be directed to your audience.

  3. Be sure to use the 5 C’s: clear language, compelling language, concise language, consistent language, and correct language.

  4. Be judicious about your use of jargon and acronyms in your media release. The only time this might be appropriate would be for a trade magazine, but even then, use discretion. You don’t want your otherwise-effective release tossed in the trash because the first person to read it does not have a clue what you’re talking about.

  5. Write in third person, even if you’re writing about yourself.

  6. Use a quotation from someone connected to your event, award, promotion, even if it’s your own quote.

  7. Double-space it and keep it short — 300 to 500 words MAX.

  8. Use appropriate style generally Associated Press style for your release. If you will be doing a lot of releases, it probably is worth it to invest in a copy of the AP Stylebook.

  9. Use ### at the end of your release to indicate there is nothing further.

  10. Many larger publications and news outlets prefer you to include a "Fact Sheet" with your release. This is a bulleted list that contains ALL the details of the information in your release. For instance:

  • Company name: Write Market Design

  • Founded: 2002

  • Owner/Operator: Laura Orsini

  • City of operation: Phoenix

  • Contact info: laura@writemarketdesign.com or 602.518.5376

  • Name of event: The Birthmother You Know A Staged Reading

  • Date of event: May 7, 2011

  • Location of event: Scottsdale Little Theatre

  • Description of event: Birthmothers come together to share their stories, writing, poetry

  • Open to the public? Yes

  • Admission: Free

  1. Find out how the media outlet you’re approaching prefers to receive their releases: in the body of e-mail, as e-mail attachments, or via fax.

  2. If you do send an e-mail, be specific in your Subject Line — perhaps use the headline from your release.

  3. Get it to the proper editor or producer (i.e., don’t send a story about your satin slipper business to the sports editor).

  4. Allow enough lead time (generally 2 to 4 weeks — but it’s up to you to research this for the particular media outlet you’re contacting).

  5. Do NOT call to “check whether they got your release.” This is almost guaranteed to get your release tossed in the trash. If you want to "pitch" your story to the reporter in person, call ahead to speak to them, and then send the release immediately after speaking with them.

  6. You may, however, call back to “add” further details to your release. All you’ve actually done is hold back some bit of important info from the original release, but when you call, you present it as though it is an added “development.” IF the added info is important enough, and IF you handle it correctly, this quite often will move your release to the top of the pile, or you will be asked to re-send it.

  7. Don’t get discouraged if your story is not picked up on your first try — but keep on trying! There are so many media outlets, and they all need copy! You can provide that with a well-written release about something newsworthy.

  8. Try online sites like PR Web and PR News Wire. These are Internet sites for posting media releases that generate great visibility. They have fabulous rankings on the major search engines!

  9. This one seems like it should go without saying — but whenever we say that, it's because it unfortunately does not go without saying: MAKE SURE YOU INCLUDE YOUR CONTACT INFO, that it is correct, and easy to locate on your release. And make sure that whoever is listed as the contact is available to talk with the media ― and not on a trek through Nepal at the time you send the release.

  10. Hire a pro to help you craft the perfect media release.

 
     
 
d
 
Getting Started
d
 
     
 

Are you ready to start promoting your book (or business) to the local, regional, or national media? Let us write, edit, and/or distribute your media releases for you. We'll also help you create a media kit that gets you visiblity and appearances and help you design a thorough media room on your website.

 
     
 

Ready to begin? Let's Get Started NOW!

 
     
 

LAURA ORSINI | Freelance Writer | Editor | Designer | Marketer | Social Alchemist | BLOG


Laura
@WriteMarketDesign.com 602.518.5376 PO Box 40273, Phoenix AZ 85067

 

 
 

Copyright 2006-2012 Write | Market | Design