9 secrets of successful media publicity

friday, 18 may of 2007

9 secrets of successful media publicity 

by Trey Ryder

SECRET #1: Send news releases written in Associated Press (AP) style. Doctors understand medical terms. Lawyers understand legalese. Editors understand news releases written in AP style -- because that’s the style in which editors write. An editor is much more likely to print your news release if it won’t cause him a lot of work. You reduce the editor’s workload and increase your chances for success when you write your news releases in AP style.

SECRET #2: Make sure your news release is timely. This means whenever you think of an idea for a news release, ask yourself, “Why is this story important now?” If your story is timely, you dramatically increase your chances for success. Your information may be timely because it’s a breaking news story, because of a recent news event, or because of the time of year.

SECRET #3: Ride a news wave. If you can help people understand a subject in the news -- if you can offer advice about a current problem -- or if you disagree with a law that’s being proposed -- make sure editors know that you’re available to share your views.

SECRET #4: Make sure your story idea is newsworthy -- and the more newsworthy, the better. Your story increases its news value when it (1) makes an impact on local people, (2) contains a credible authority as the source of information, (3) shows a new or established trend, (4) warns people how to protect themselves, or (5) raises a controversy.

SECRET #5: Offer to write the article yourself. Many editors and reporters are overworked so they look for the easiest way to get good stories in print. When you present your idea to the editor, offer to write the story yourself. If the editor approves, then you control the order in which your information appears. On the other hand, if the editor decides to assign a reporter to your story, you’ve made a positive first impression because you’ve offered to make the editor’s job easier.

SECRET #6: Make sure your story idea contains helpful tips or advice. Editors want to help readers solve problems. So the more people who will benefit from your advice, the better. To make your story more powerful, offer readers a free written handout and give your telephone number so they can request a copy.

SECRET #7: Offer story ideas about subjects editors want. These include (1) new research and discoveries, (2) health, (3) finance, (4) women’s issues, (5) high technology, (6) the Internet, (7) inventions, (8) overcoming adversity, (9) human interest, and (10) profiles of companies and people.

SECRET #8: Don’t send a press kit. A press kit is usually a two-pocket folder that contains a news release, fact sheet, biography, photographs and any other backup materials an editor might need. Public relations firms use press kits to impress clients and justify charging $5,000 to $10,000 -- or more -- for their preparation. To an editor, a press kit looks like a lot of work because there’s so much to read. One editor told me she often throws press kits into the trash -- unopened. The most successful publicity programs I’ve ever conducted have been with the use of inexpensive -- yet powerful -- news releases.

SECRET #9: Send good story ideas, often. Your idea might not be right for the editor today, but it might be perfect tomorrow. Send news releases to editors at least every six to eight weeks. Monthly is even better. If you’ll keep good ideas in the editors’ hands, from time to time they’ll use them. And when you maintain an ongoing publicity program, at the end of 12 months, I think you’ll be pleased with the number of feature articles about you in print.

© Trey Ryder

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