“Once upon a time” is always a strong beginning to a great story. If you take that same line and apply it to your company, how long would it take you to explain what your company does?
“Once upon a time my company started in the basement of my ex-wife’s Colonial style house. And now we’re the leaders in the niche market of widget refurbishing"?¦”
If it takes you longer to describe your company and its amazing offerings, than it takes me to finish my Grande Mocha Java then that’s too long. Here’s a secret about journalists"?¦they’re driven to write, and not so good on the listening part. They don’t have a lot of time for you to insert the words “leader and leading” into each sentence when you’re describing your company.
In fact, if you send a press release out to a journalist that starts out with the sentence, “the leading company”, you may as well understand there’s a good chance unless you can back up your very “leading” statement that your story will fall into the big newsroom box of “leading” recycled papers.
Part of what this blog will be about is telling you how to “hype” your company without buying into your own hype. What that means is the goal of PR is to tell the truth about your company and make certain your company is living up to that truth. Don’t follow the WorldCom method, in other words.
The second thing to remember about any press release you send out to a journalist is to make certain your news is really “news” and it’s on the journalist’s beat to cover it. Don’t send a box of candy to a journalist who’s not a food writer or editor. Don’t send a story about your company’s water filtration system to a journalist who only writes about elections.
The third thing to remember is to personalize your news and don’t use the blast fax or email method.
Here’s some Do’s:
- Do personalize your release and your subject line.
- Do complement the journalist on a recent story they’ve written covering the same type of news you’re sending them.
- If you use an excerpt from the story that’s even more impressive!
- Do put a subject in our email.
- Do keep an updated target list of local, regional and national media to reach out too.
- Do be available for the journalist at a moment’s notice and don’t put your PR or marketing person on the phone with you at the same time.
- Do tell the truth.
Next posting we’ll cover five examples of companies who started small but gathered big and powerful press in very unique ways!