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Friday, July 8, 2011

Do Your Press Releases Attract Media Attention?

With the decline of traditional news reporting and the increase in number of individual contributors providing information, it can be extremely difficult to capture the attention of the most influential media players. At vitalink, we write and distribute countless press releases and media kits with varying results.

Over the years, we have compiled some “best practices” that we would like to share. Even for our clients who continue to use our PR services, these guidelines may help you to determine whether or not an event would be newsworthy so that you may let us know to proceed with a PR. Here are some thoughts:

  1. Is the item unusual enough to warrant the attention of the public? A milestone business anniversary, revolutionary new product, free seminar offering, acquisition of another firm, or the fact that you won a big case would likely all be of interest. On the other hand, if you write a blog post about a subject that has been covered by a hundred others before you, it is likely not press worthy.

  2. Is the notification timely? Many businesses—especially if they are large—struggle with getting communications out the door quickly. With the pace of information flow these days, old news is just that. Plan ahead whenever possible and react quickly if there is no prior notice.

  3. Does the item position the firm in a positive light? Ideally you want to showcase news events such that the firm benefits. There are exceptions, however, so if there is a negative item that should be addressed with a public statement, get it out there quickly. Controversy can generate a lot of discussion!

  4. Is the news item a “feel good” people story? People like to know who you really are on a personal level. Showcasing employees as they give back to the community or if they have a positive event can help with relationship building.

In short, items that are interesting, relevant—and sometimes even controversial—will generate media attention and, with luck, that elusive notice by (and conversation with) customers and prospects. We'd love to hear what types of press releases you've found generate the most interest. Let us know!

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