Even before you start writing your press release, think who you want to read it and where you will send it. If you leave this until after you’ve written it, you could find that your press release is not suitable for the publication(s) you are targeting.
Taking a scattergun approach and sending it to everyone is not a good idea either. As a business journalist, I receive so many irrelevant press releases that waste my time. While I try to remain helpful at all times, sometimes this does stretch my patience too far.
Does this matter? Well, if it puts a journalist off reading anything you send them, it could mean you miss the one big opportunity when they are interested.
I am really grateful when people take the time to find out what news I am seeking.
Who do you want to hear your story?
Is it one group of people or more, eg young people and pensioners?
Different groups could be interested in different aspects for different reasons. They are likely to read different publications.
If so, you will need to tailor press releases for each type of publication to emphasise what interests individual groups.
If you don’t know who you want to reach, you won’t know what they’re looking for and so won’t necessarily be providing what they want. It’s also a waste of resources to send press releases anywhere as they are unlikely to get published without a clear focus.
Perhaps your audience is small and limited to a specific sector served by just a few publications. Or else it could be much bigger and include large numbers of consumers who read different publications according to their age, interests, etc.
Knowing your audience enables you to target your resources more effectively and gives your press release a bigger chance of success.
When commissioned to proofread magazines, newsletters, reports, manuals and web sites before they are sent to print or published on the internet, often we find major inconsistencies throughout the document, which require considerable rewriting or editing. Sometimes there isn’t enough time to do this and the document is produced with only the worst errors and typos corrected.
Anyone producing a long document can avoid this by assuming the role of editor and managing production from start to finish. By using style guides for both the visual and written content, you can ensure consistency through contributions from many writers, illustrators and designers.
And because you’re monitoring progress all the time, you won’t be faced by the need to make impossible changes just before going to print or publication.
It’ll save you time, money and hassle, and also result in a better publication.
Download our free prompt sheet on managing long documents effectively or if you want someone to edit your long document for you, call us on 0845 200 7830 or email us.
A company spends thousands of pounds on producing a magazine: writers research topics and interview subjects; photographers take breathtaking photographs; illustrators create stunning pictures; and designers produce wonderful page-layouts.
A day before going to print, someone asks if anyone has proofread it. No. We’d better find a proofreader – quick!
Often, there is so much focus on making publications look good that the content itself is forgotten. It’s only when someone realises that errors cannot be corrected when a document has been printed that proofreading becomes important.
Is this unusual? Unfortunately, no.
Is proofreading expensive? Not when you think of the thousands of pounds spent on writing, designing and printing a magazine, newsletter or brochure – the cost is likely to be a hundred or two at the most.
Does proofreading take long? A magazine or newsletter of up to 20 pages can be proofread and checked in one day. Obviously, it’s better to build proofreading into the production schedule, just like any other activity.
What are all the proofreading symbols? These are rarely used, as most commercial proofreading is undertaken using the ‘track changes’ facility in Microsoft Word or the comments facilities in Adobe Acrobat. Files can be sent to a proofreader and returned by email. Modern proofreaders are as hi-tech as any other industry.
Isn’t it an unnecessary cost? How would you feel if, instead of being praised for your marvellous magazine, you only receive comments on all the mistakes?
Proofreading is as necessary today as it has ever been so that your magazines and newsletters not only look good, but read well too.