Getting a press release published is a very hit and miss activity. There’s no way to ensure an editor publishes your press release, even with a PR expert on the team.
So how can you get more exposure in the press?
- What do your target audience read? While it might be good for your ego to appear in the national dailies, it’s much harder to crack them, simply because they have thousands of people like you also trying to get their foot in the door. Take a look at what else your audience reads – trade journals, industry magazines, local publications, digital only publications – and don’t forget social media.
- Quality before quantity. Don’t get diverted by circulation figures. For example, it’s easy to look at the 335,000 circulation of the Telegraph, compare it with the industry magazine for printers Print Monthly with just short of 11,000 and feel that the numbers don’t stack up. But, if your target market is printers, you can be sure that almost all of that 11,000 are the right people for you, whereas it’s almost impossible to work out how many of the Telegraph’s readers match your ideal client profile.
- What kind of material do those publications publish? If you know what the editor wants, giving them material that is close to that is going to have a higher success rate. If you’re delivering formal, traditional press releases to a publication that features a chatty, information-driven style, you’ll miss the mark. So both content and style are important.
- Build relationships. A good PR executive will actively get in touch with the chosen publication and talk to the right editor. That’s not the editor-in-chief, but the one responsible for that section of the magazine, although in smaller publications there may only be one editor. Emulate their strategy and pick up the phone, get to know their process and lead times so you deliver what they want when they want it.
- What does the editor actually want? Often smaller journals will welcome good quality articles as they often have a small budget to fill their magazine with good quality articles – and are usually happy to add your contact details at the end of the article. Know what features and supplements are coming up and, if you have something relevant, ask if they’d be interested in looking at your article. Typically you’ll need to give them a subject and a two line description of the content for them to decide if it’s right for their publication.
Make the editor your friend – don’t bombard them with inappropriate material. And don’t take them to task for not publishing what you’ve given them. They’re doing their job of publishing what they know their readers want. Never ring and ask if an article is going to be published – read the publication and you’ll see whether your item has made it or not.
Follow the process and you’ll get more of your material in print.