By Meredith Pond
Each day newspapers, TV, radio, and ezines hand out millions of dollars in FREE publicity. If you have a good story or good information to share, an editor somewhere will jump at the chance to use your material. Your name and ideas can be spread to thousands of people over night. And the cost to you? Zero.
Once you have finished your press release, here are some ways to send it to the media.
- Start small. Think locally. Your best bet for getting media is right in your own home town. Editors and news directors love to do stories on businesses and individuals they can phone without placing a long distance call. In fact, when we send press releases to media across America, many editors say they ONLY do local stories.Find the contact information for your local media in the Yellow Pages. Call the front desk and ask who handles stories like yours. You might even try pitching your story over the phone before you send your release.
- Send your release to a trade publication that covers your industry. The fact that you have created a way for silver coated milk cans to dent less easily probably won’t get a second look from your local daily newspaper, but the dairy trade publication might put you on the front page. Be sure to send them a photo, with YOU in the picture.
- Email your release to media nationwide. Most editors won’t go for your release, but since you are casting a wide net, some will give you coverage. You can get addresses of media folks who have asked to received releases by consulting one of the reliable media directories like the Bacon Publicity Checker or the Media Directory at Gebbie.com.Since email is a dirt cheap way to distribute a release, write a second release to send media next month. Sometimes you have to send three or four releases before you become familiar enough for an editor to jump on your story.
- Look for neighborhood or alternative newspapers that cover stories like yours. A policeman who had a story about abuse couldn’t get his side covered by the local daily, but had a topic alternative newspapers loved.
- Pay an email newsletter to run all or part of your press release. Ad rates are down around the Net and many fine publications will consider working with you if your release has good information their readers will appreciate. This same principle can apply to small newspapers and some broadcast organizations. You may get better results if you convert your release into an article or even into a long ad.
Above all, don’t give up. Free publicity is…well…free. You only get results when you are organized and persistent.
Meredith Pond is a professional and freelance writer with extensive experience working on the web. Meredith provides writing and editing services to individuals and businesses alike at great prices. See WordSmithWeb for details. Contact Meredith directly at firstname.lastname@example.org