7 Sins of Media Releases

    December 23, 2002

“You need serious liposuction!” I told a participant in a recent teleseminar. No, I wasn’t referring to her size — but rather, the length of her media release which tipped the scales at 3 bloated pages. It’s natural to “sin” when it comes to writing media releases, since we are full of enthusiasm for our books and products. But as someone who receives over two hundred media releases a week, here is a brief checklist of what to do before you send out your releases.

1. Target your Audience Carefully!

Not everyone in the world needs to read your news release, so be sure to send your release to publications and shows that typically use news of your type.

Some people think that blanketing the world with your releases will do no harm, but watch out! When editors and producers mark you as not relevant to their market, they’ll dismiss you. When you do finally get relevant news, they won’t even look at it.

2. Make your Headline a Killer!

The headline must be compelling, magnetic, and scream out relevance to the market! Unless your headline clearly suggests why an editor or producer should bother reading your release, keep it on your desk until it does.

3. Define Your Angle

You must define your angle for each audience the release is to reach. I didn’t say, “write a new release” for each market, just tweak the headline so it reflects a specific angle that has relevance to that market.

The reason is because editors only want relevant material that matches their audience’s interest. Otherwise, why would they care?

4. Why now?

In other words, explain why this particular editor or producer needs the information now instead of last week or two weeks from today.

Again, the “why now” question should be addressed in your headline, or at least, the first sentence of your release. A good way to brainstorm is to look at what’s on the front page of your paper and tie it in with what you have to promote.

5. Liposuction is welcome.

Keep the release slim and shapely, one page, double-spaced, with lots of white space. Editors and producers won’t read more.

6. Personalize with pictures.

That’s right! It’s **good** to use pictures in your release. The wackier the better for attention grabbing, and make sure to include a clever caption.

7. Take off that “official hat!”

Even the most creative writers clam up when it’s time to write a release, mistakenly thinking it’s an “official document” instead of a tantalizing page of colorful words designed to get you on radio, TV, and in print!

2003 Maria Marsala. I help business owners make and keep more of their hard earned money. Join “Elevating You” ezine and request a complimentary consultation at http://coachmaria.com/consultation.