Five years ago, before we became immersed in social media, much of our business was centered around traditional PR. And although we don’t write as many press releases or pitch stories to editors as often as we used to, this list of dos and don’ts is still valid, perhaps more so with the shrinking number of outlets and the growing number of companies submitting their stories:
DO: Write a press release when you have timely news about your products or services, your staff, recent legal or legislative actions, industry changes or other items of interest to the public.
DON’T: Simply share promotional messages or self-serving puff pieces. And don’t recycle content that has already been covered by competing news media
DO: Create custom messages tailored to the audience of a specific news vehicle. While a rock and roll radio station and a news station may both be interested in your product, their reasons may be very different. Be sure it is clear why this story is relevant to their audience. Offer follow up interviews and additional content to support the story.
DON’T: Send blanket mailings that relay the exact same news, with no way to follow up or learn more. Simply outline product features with no relevance to the audience
DO: Use crisp, clear accurate and factual language. Present content which is intriguing and believable.
DON’T: Use opinions (except in quotes), hype or superlatives ( smartest, fastest, most technologically advanced). Don’t take a boastful tone, making claims with no supporting evidence.
Even if you follow all this advice, there is no promise your story will run. So what do you do? Post the content on your website, include it in emails to clients, and start working on your next story.