Even in this digital online world, having your business noticed by a major metropolitan paper or magazine still has some value. As the media cycle is still largely driven by the printed products, having your story picked up by them can often lead to the all-important television coverage. That’s where the real pot of gold lies!
So how do you attract the attention of the print journos? A succinctly crafted media release. Like many readers these days, journos are under pressure to get their jobs done. This means they don’t have time to read through a wonderfully crafted story that’s 3 pages of perfect prose. In fact giving them this will ensure your story never sees the light of day. You best chance of cutting through is with a finely honed media release.
So, how do you do that?
1. Understand they are not interested in making your business a success. They want a story. So think of a public interest issue that your business is connected to and that is your topic.
2. Introduce facts. Find some statistics or relevant recent history that demonstrate the current direction is inadequate or flawed. Categorise those who are suffering or doing without.
3. Name the government department responsible for regulating this area. Does the Opposition spokesperson have a reputation for inflammatory remarks? It’s a more tempting story if they do.
4. Quote an authority (community leaders are good) who is disturbed by the situation.
5. Introduce additional facts.
6. Quote yourself as an informed source.
7. Close with why this is relevant now. Timing is everything!
Remember, it’s not about you! The public interest is the motivating force for journos. So make it yours. Position yourself as a concerned citizen, not as a business owner seeking to profit.
Now – here’s the hard part. Keep it to under 300 words. Any more and it won’t be read. What would you do if someone you don’t know sent you an email any larger? Would you read it?