How Important is a News Release?
A news release is the key deliverable for those seeking publicity (much like a résumé is for job seekers, or a contract is for contract seekers).
If a news release works you can get an article in a newspaper, an interview on radio or TV and information about you will be placed in front of an audience of people who can take action based on what they learn about you.
With publicity comes increased interest, name recognition, calls from prospects, sales, and profits. Compared to advertising and direct marketing, publicity is very, very inexpensive to acquire.
The publicity you can generate with a news release can be phenomenally valuable. You can inform people and generate interest in your products and services, educate and entertain hundreds, thousands, even millions of people, drive traffic to a website or get people to attend an event and as a result acquire fame and recognition.
But if the news release fails to capture the attention of an editor or producer, your business, event, or idea may wind up in the trash along with it.
When I published the original Trash Proof News Releases in 2001, the primary ways you could send a news release were:
1. street mail
4. in person
Internet based media platforms and personal communication devices have evolved considerably in the past seven years. In addition to those outlets listed above, we now have:
1. web pages
2. regular search engines
3. news search engines
4. specialized search engines
5. online libraries, directories, databases
6. newsletters and ezines
7. discussion groups and mailing lists
9. audio and podcasts
10. video (You Tube)
11. chat rooms
13. social media (MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc)
14. cell phones and PDA’s
The technology continues to evolve, get smaller, and faster. The way we receive news continues to change.
But the message you create when you send a news release to persuade media to give you exposure is the crucial starting point. What you write, say, or look like influences their decision and if they decide in your favor people get to read, watch or listen to some version of your message. Your news release to the media is the key – the crucial proposal that determines what media do.
What you place into a news release determines whether you get media coverage. If the message is deemed newsworthy, you can fly across the media and soar to majestic heights like an eagle in the wind.
If the message fails to incite media interest, then it sinks like a rock in a pond, never to see the light of day again.
The successful news release provides a story arc, anticipates questions (who, what, where, when, why, and how?), triggers an emotional connection, and leads the media who reads it to a decision to share you and your message with an audience of people.
In the face of the hundreds and even thousands of other people competing for media attention, this is no easy task.
Oftentimes, you’re trying to capture all the most meaningful aspects of your life’s efforts in one single phrase. You must outshine all the other twinkling stars in the night.
The success of a news release resides primarily in the quality of the copywriting. It must address the needs of the media outlet, its sponsors, and its audience. Those audience members can tell the difference between content and advertisement pretty easily, so your news release must be pitched perfectly if it’s going to accomplish both your aims and the media’s. It must be concise, easy to understand, interesting, believable, value-laden, and actionable.
That’s what you need to do when you create a news release.