First, its important to know the difference between editorial and advertising. With advertising, you get what you pay for because, well, you have to pay for advertising. You say what you want to say, how you want to say it , and you can be as biased as you want, extolling your virtues to your hearts content. You get to proof the copy before its published and change what you don’t like.
Editorial is a different story. Editorial is written by journalists to be factual and unbiased. You don’t get to dictate how the story is written, you don’t get to see it before its published and you don’t have a say in when it appears. In any credible publication, you can’t buy editorial. Its free, but its worth much more than advertising.
When preparing your new release, think “news”. What’s new? What’s special? What’s different? Why should anyone care? Would you care if it wasn’t your company/product/service?
“Put your story front and center,” says Alfred Holden, assistant business editor at the Toronto Star in Toronto.
Find something newsworthy . Target your approach then get to the point, stick to the facts and the belief that solid market information is what gets published. Forget puffery. Explain the product, even if its technical, in a way that will be understood by people who are not experts in the field.
News releases should include your name, address, e-mail and phone number, not just that of a public relations company, and tell when the service will be available. Make the journalists job as easy as you can . “its not the big picture that gets these journalists down. It’s the little things that get in their way over and over again. News releases without lists of contacts; contacts who are never there or who don’t answer their voice mail until the end of the day…..no news news conferences,” says the Angus Reid Survey.
Adding reams of corporate history to the release is another waste of time and money. And forget about quotes telling about how great the sales staff is. Editors won’t use those kinds of quotes.