I often find that small businesses decide to go down the PR route before they’re ready – sometimes even before their product is finalised or service not entirely thought through.
I completely understand this. PR is considered more credible than advertising and can certainly be far cheaper. However, it is only these things if you truly do have news to tell the media’s target audience.
In order to stand the best chance of having your release accepted, here’s a brief list of do’s and don’ts to help you build a strong relationship with key journalists and editors in your industry.
Do make sure your product or service, if not yet launched, is ready to bring to market
Do have good PR shots to include with your release. Key individuals and the focus of the release is best.
Do research the names and emails of your key media people.
Do structure your press release correctly.
Do include a spokesperson’s name, job title and contact details.
And finally, do make sure you have news to tell. A new Facebook page, a discount or offering the lowest prices are not news!
Do not send out a blanket email to all journalists beginning “Dear Sirs” (unless you’re advised to contact a generic email address).
A courteous follow up email is fine but don’t hound editors regularly by phone.
Don’t be over familiar with an editor you don’t know.
Don’t declare yourself unavailable if a journalist phones to follow up your release. Bend over backwards to give them what they need. Quickly.