No matter how good your press release has been written, if it does not get any mileage online, nobody will know about your product or service. Reputation management experts note that it’s not enough that you have a perfectly written promotional piece. You have to get people to talk about you. This is where fostering a relationship with reporters and industry influencers comes in.
Decide What You Want To Happen And Focus
Reporters get dozens of letters and emails every day from friends and strangers pitching stories and hoping to get their products or businesses featured. Because of this flood of messages, chances are, the reporter will have only a split second to decide if he or she wants to give your message attention or not. What do you do to stand out? Find out what they are interested in and anchor from there.
Do not spam writers and editors. In addition to being annoying, it will not help your brand at all and will only further flood his or her inbox. To get noticed, find out first what the writer or publication’s demographics and target readers are. That’s what you build on.
For example, if you are selling an orange juice, don’t pitch to a writer who’s only interested in apple juice. If you must, relate the benefits of orange juice alongside apple juice so the media person will have something to write about. Of course, this is an oversimplification — but surely you get the idea. Pitching to somebody who will find no value in your product or service is a waste of time.
Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thinly
Sending out your press release to every possible news agency, writer and editor available is no way to effectively promote your business. This is lazy and sloppy work. Worse, it can brand you as a jack of all trades but master of none. Create a niche. Find out which publications have some relation to your product. Research which writers are likely to give you the time of day. Know their beats and areas of expertise. That’s how you create a positive reputation.
Once you have identified your target reports and outlets, get personal. Sending out generic press releases sends off the message that you really don’t know who you’re talking to. This will likely result in a disinterested (or worse, offended) receiver. Due to the number of pitches they receive on a daily basis, these people can identify a generic press release from the first sentence. So be sure to find out something on your target reader, so you can create an effective hook.
Be Knowledgeable About Industry Trends
The movement of articles is faster online than on print. This is because editors can easily switch out a story with another depending on the attention it is getting and the content it carries. If your press release gets trumped by a big story, you can expect your online presence to get relegated to the back pages, if not removed.
That said, your press release should be packaged in a way to is relevant to what is currently trending. By coming out with fresh content and timing its release properly, you can enjoy placement success. Another strategy would be to hold off on having your content released until the current trending topic has started to subside. This way, when the editor isn’t too overwhelmed, he or she can lend your press release his or her attention. In short, don’t swim in a school. Find a way where you can swim above and get light.
Make Your PR Easy To Digest And Share
When it comes to effective reputation management, the challenge is to not get drowned in the mass of similar news. In addition to being relevant and timely, you should also make your press release easy to share. Give it a viral element. Make it entertaining. Inject something that people will want to engage in. Otherwise, your press release will just stay where it is — in their inbox — and not move at all.