If you want to get the eye of the press, you've to consider just like the press.
In the 20+ years I've been in public relations, one of the very difficult aspects of the game to teach clients is that the press is not a service organization whose sole purpose would be to cover what PR people pitch them. Their business design is easy; they exist to see and entertain their readers, for them to grow their subscriber base and sell advertising against those numbers.
So, if you want to take part in the "press game" it is essential to recognize what wins the press loyal readers and increases their circulation...and then make them to complete it! The 1st step is to have together a power-packed pitch. In line with the Associated Press Stylebook preferred term for a press release isn't press release; it's NEWS release. All things considered, it's not called a press-paper - it's called a NEWSpaper. Like it or not, public relations people don't get to determine what the headlines is. Only news professionals get to accomplish this if they choose what to create, print or air.
So, just because your company opened a fresh store in Cincinnati, doesn't allow it to be NEWS. However, there might very well be a nugget of newsworthiness that you could offer up to the press to be able to buy them enthusiastic about the opening of your store.
Where do you find those nuggets? Here really are a few suggestions to assist you mine the headlines gold in all of your announcements:
Read Your Local Newspapers -You can't find a news hook until you know what the headlines of the afternoon actually is. And, because it changes everyday, you'll need to keep on the top of news (or hire an agency to perform that function for you, and trust their judgment if they advise you of potential news hooks).
Determine How Your Story is Relevant - This is the lowest hanging fruit in the headlines hook orchard trend press news. Try to find anything in your company that is highly relevant to news taking invest your community or nationally. If you're opening a fresh bicycle shop in Los Angeles, then do some news searches to see what reporters have already been authoring the area.
Say you find that the location is economically depressed, where case you are able to pitch to the press the indisputable fact that a fresh retailer opening there is a boost to the area economy, and that you're willing to take a chance on success because community. Or you could find that bicycle ridership has increased nationally by 10 percent over the previous year, with new riders indicating they have started as they are hoping to get fit. Now you can pitch the area press on the angle that your new shop is targeted at capitalizing on this national trend.
This strategy is known as "localizing" a national story, which every newspaper and TV producer loves. Because it's a national story, they will report it anyway, but they'd prefer to have a local hook for them to be more highly relevant to the area audience.
Develop Stories That Have a Beginning, Middle and End - Be sure you tell reporters a complete story. Let's utilize the bicycle shop as an example. Opening a bicycle shop might not be a lot of a story by itself, but what's the story behind the story? Did the owners overcome any unusual obstacles in fulfilling the dream of opening their store? Was the owner ever a competitive bicyclist? Have the owners used their knowledge of the game or inventory to simply help any children's charities or causes? Are they active inside their community? Identify the story behind the story, and you'll have a lot of opportunities to discover a news hook that's relevant.
Take Action - There is grounds why so many commercial enterprises and not-for-profit charities and community organizations partner up for special events - it's a win-win situation for everyone. It's important for every commercial enterprise to be a good citizen and use some of their resources to simply help others, and in addition it helps to create sometimes un-newsworthy events relevant. Opening a bicycle shop isn't a large deal, but holding a great opening event for a local children's charity makes the opening more relevant. If the owners utilize the event to simply help raise money and donate excess inventory to needy children, it is both a valuable venture and a really heartwarming feel-good story worthy of news coverage.
Helping people should be its reward, needless to say, but that's also why newspapers and charities love these events. It not just gives editors and TV crews something joyful and happy to report, but inaddition it enables the charities to have their messages out to the city at large. Your organization improves its public image, and deservedly so, so long as the help is genuine and comes not from the pocketbook, but from the heart.
By the end of the afternoon, most of the time you will find news hooks in even the absolute most mundane of news releases. The key thing to remember is that the focus of the release isn't to offer, sell, sell - it's to convince a reporter that you've news to report and that their readers could be informed or entertained by everything you have to inform them.