Press Releases: Are Yours Getting You Media Coverage?


Is your company’s public relations firm or media relations department getting you results or are they simply what I call shotgunning press releases out to all the local media outlets in hopes of hitting something? It’s time to find out. First, ask to see the last five news releases sent to the news media on behalf of your company. Next, ask your public relations or media relations people to show you specifically the resulting media coverage. What did you get? Did any of your local television stations do a story about it? You know they didn’t because you would have been the person being interviewed and as far as you can remember you haven’t looked into a camera in years – if ever! What about your local radio stations? Did any of them telephone you for an interview? I’ll bet not. Newspaper? No. No telephone call. So let me guess the end result of your PR effort. No TV, no radio and maybe, just maybe on page three of the business section of the newspaper there was a two-inch blurb essentially regurgitating the first two paragraphs of your press release.

Why didn’t you get any media coverage? Experience tells me it’s because your press release didn’t address the most important question the media, viewers and listeners ask – “Why do I care? What’s in it for me? How does it effect me?” Even though you sent out hundreds of press releases in hopes of reaching thousands of people, we sometimes forget it always comes down to an audience of one – the guy in the living room chair watching TV, listening to the radio or reading the newspaper. He’s the guy ya gotta talk to! Your goal, through your press release is to convince the media that the guy in the living room chair cares about what your news release is promoting. Give the media a reason to show up. What’s unique, unusual or interesting about your new product, service, groundbreaking or charity event? I once saw some interesting research that indicated many people are in their easy chair reading the newspaper while the local television news is on. As they read, they half listen to what’s on television. Your goal is to write a press release that results in a story so interesting, so compelling that it makes the guy in the easy chair peer over the top of his newspaper to see what’s going on and watch your story. When you write a press release, always keep in mind the audience of one. The guy in the easy chair.






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