When I worked in radio and television news, i was always surprised at the type of press releases that would be submitted.
Grand Opening of New Pizza Place
Learn How to Lose the Weight You Want for a New You in the New Year
Have Fun During Free Walking Tour
Believe it or not, these are REAL headlines from REAL press releases. In my expert opinion, not only are these headlines not attention-grabbing, but they also don’t say anything that would make me want to read on for the “newsworthiness” of the release.
Here’s the point: just because you’re excited about a certain topic or event doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a newsworthy story. There are two things for you to consider BEFORE submitting your press release.
1) What are you selling? The media tends to frown upon “salesy” type press releases. If your main goal is to get butts in seats and make a profit, chances are very good that your press release will be overlooked by the newsroom. Instead, it may be forwarded to the sales department to see if they can get you to spend some advertising dollars to promote your business or product. Play down the idea that you’re trying to get people to come to your event and focus on the value an event (or product) like yours prevents to Mr. and Mrs. Average America. And if there is a patriotic, holiday or charitable theme attached, that’s a winner!
2) What value does it offer to the media? As much as we want to believe that the media is all about community service and looking out for the little guy, the bottom line is it’s all about ratings and their maximum reach potential. If your story is perceived as a “mom and pop” type event the media is probably going to overlook it;. However, if if has the perceived power to reach the masses and have them singing the TV station’s praises for covering your news story, then it’s a win-win for everybody.
Editors and reporters have to be satisfied first before they will allow you to convey your newsworthy information to the general public.