So you finally emailed that press release out after a week of solid work. Time to relax! Right?
Not so! There a number of things you could be doing to make sure your press release hits the ground running and doesn’t disappear into the ether. Let’s take a look at five of them.
1. Cultivate the Reporter
You have been talking to the reporters at the newspaper, haven’t you? Uh oh. Well, there’s no time like the present. Get out there and start chatting people up, being careful not to be a nuisance.
One great way to do this is to offer your services as a source. When reporters need a quote for a story from a respected source, you want them to remember you name. Ensure this by offering yourself to help with anything they need up at the paper.
2. Promote the Paper
Want to really get the journalist’s attention (not to mention the editor and owner)? Then help promote their work! Like the cultivation above, you should have technically started this before you even wrote the press release. In any case, post stories from the paper on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. If there’s any sort of drive to save the paper, get on top of it and help them out. They’ll definitely remember it when your press release arrives in the inbox.
3. Send a Polite Email
Again, you don’t want to bother the journalists at the paper. They’re probably used to companies following up on their press releases all the time. Often, their stories probably don’t get printed because they drove everyone at the paper crazy!
Instead, send a polite email to your contact or the email you send the press release to. Try to stick to email, too. Calling ties the journalist down and might make them miss an otherwise important phone call. If they are interested in your press release, they will get back to you.
4. Prepare for a Call
A journalist might catch wind of your press release and authentically like it. However, this doesn’t mean he or she won’t have questions. This means you’re going to get a (possibly late night) call about what you wrote.
You must be ready at all times for this call! Blubbering or telling them to call later can only lead to bad things, including your press release getting lost in the mix. This may even affect future releases you send. Always be on guard to answer any questions with a smile, no matter how crazy they may sound at first.
5. Start Work on Your Next One
The percentage chance your press release actually made it into the newspaper is often slim. Press releases flood the market. Instead of sitting around and waiting for that one to catch, start work on your next one. This keeps things moving instead of stagnating. Public relations is a constant, steady practice, and you must stay constant and steady, too!
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This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/prchecklist.html