Take Another Look at Your News Release

Last fall, I was asked to give a presentation to booksellers about the basic marketing mix. Around that same time, this post came across my Facebook feed from a friend who, as a local host for NPR’s Morning Edition, compiles the morning newscast:

Screenshot 2014-10-11 09.22.22

Since news releases fall under the public relations portion of the marketing mix, I sent Kate a note and asked if she had other insights for those writing/sending news releases. Here are her tips:

  • Release the press release at least several business days before the event, preferably a week or more. Most stations/papers have small staffs and they have to plan coverage.
  • Don’t call something like an interview with the president of the 4-H club an “Amazing Opportunity.” There’s probably something genuinely amazing about your event or story; find that and don’t hype up boring things with random buzz words that make the journalist think you’re trying to “trick” them into caring.
  • Don’t make the press release about the presenting organization, the cute graphics in the press release, or the alliteration in the copy. Make it about the charity or book or event being presented.
  • We often have 5-20 press releases per day in our inboxes to wade through, and we scan each one for 5-30 seconds. Cutesy graphics and color schemes make your release harder to read. Give us great information, well organized, with good white space so our eyes can read from item to item well, and of course, your contact info prominently placed.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay