My work as a freelance journalist constantly reminds me what businesses should and should not do to get press coverage.
Above all, the simplest thing anyone can do is find out the right person to receive a press release on a specific topic.
What surprises me is that even though direct dial telephone numbers and email addresses of journalists sometimes accompany articles they write, many people don’t think to look for these. How do I know? Because inappropriate press releases are often forwarded by one journalist to another.
Now, if you’ve spent 30 minutes, an hour, two hours or however long writing a press release – time that could have been spent earning money from your customers – it makes sense to ensure that it gets to the right person.
I’m a forgiving soul and look at most material I receive, but not everyone is.
So before you send: look for the right person, find out their contact details and address the press release to them personally.
Does it work? Yes, because many people are doing this and get through direct to me. It’s a good start because I know they have put some thought into what they’re doing, so probably have a good story to tell. They have established my interest.
I would also recommend researching target publications before starting to write a press release, because then you will know what type of articles they tend to publish and can tailor yours to suit their style.