Are you writing news releases that
don’t get picked up by the media?
Are you frustrated with the lack of
response from the reporters and editors
you’re contacting—or attempting to
Granted, the publishing landscape has
changed dramatically over the past few years.
Yet, whether you’re seeking coverage of your company’s news in print, broadcast, digital publications or on blogs, there are some “make or break” elements that apply across all platforms. Such as:
1. Before you start writing, do a lot of reading:
How well do you know the publication, TV/radio program or blog you’re pitching? If you’re contacting a specific editor, go to that outlet’s website, and get a feel for what they publish. Who is their audience? Would your story be a fit for the readers/viewers? Can you package your news in a way that will be appealing to this audience.
2. Write a strong lead paragraph:
The “5Ws” (who, what, when, where, why & how) all still apply. But, it’s more than that. A lot of solidly structured lead paragraphs are truly uninteresting. Are you just placing some facts on the page? Or are you developing a strong news angle that will—factually—give your story an introductory paragraph that will grab attention?
I often spend more time writing—re-writing and re-writing- my lead than I do in writing the rest of the story. When the lead is “right,” the remainder of the story flows pretty easily.
3. Are you probing for “more” information?
If you’re obtaining your basic information from your company or your client, be a real reporter. If the news opportunity is about an event on which you’re seeking follow up coverage, dig deeper.
What was different about this event? What it a “first”? What was the scope—was it citywide, regional or nationwide? How many people attended—was this a new attendance record? Where are the photos from the event? Were distinguished guests speaking or attending, such as government officials or industry leaders?
4. Can you talk to some attendees & add testimonials?
Talking to attendees helps give you a real feel for the event, and also yields good—short-testimonials. Most editors would much rather receive real life quotes from attendees than to read a canned paragraph from the company president or CEO.
5. How are you contacting your target editor?
Before the digital revolution, it was standard practice to place a phone call to an editor or writer. If you know the person or if some other circumstances are present, that still may work for you. Nine times out of 10, I get better results from sending a well-crafted and short email. Who wants to listen to the typical publicity pitch over the phone? Not many, I’ll say!
If you would like to chat about your news opportunities,
let’s get in touch: p@McLaughlinMktg.com
By Patricia McLaughlin
on December 23, 2016
By Patricia McLaughlin
on December 22, 2016
If you’re like many non-profit
organizations, your lifeblood of getting
things done is your ability to attract—
and retain—your loyal volunteers.
1. Keep on sharing the vision and
the good news.
People volunteer their time and
talents to causes that tug at their
hearts—or with which they at least
have a common interest. On-going
communications through your
Facebook page or other social
platforms, an e-newsletter and
informal get-togethers keep
volunteers informed and energized
for your cause.
2. Help them build their tribe.
Individuals crave connection &
community with like-minded people.
In churches, it’s often called “building
church family,” or in educational organizations, it’s “building your professional network.” Working on volunteer teams provide valuable venues for developing friends and allies.
3. Show them the love.
Studies show that employees who feel appreciated are far more productive on the job. Imagine how that multiples for volunteers! As your valued, un-paid workforce, volunteers need to be thanked and recognized on a regular basis. Monthly team meetings help get individuals together in person for some face time with you and each other. Celebrate your successes! Let your hair down and have some fun together! Yes, do order in the pizza!
4. Give them special rewards.
If you are a professional organization, offer volunteers special, low prices on your educational programs and events. Invest some of your resources in group rate tickets for special events in town. The National Western Stock Show, running through most of January, is one of many Denver area organizations offering you group discounts. Your volunteers get complimentary tickets from you and another way to get together as a tribe.
5. Ask what your word of mouth is.
A client once told me, “We churn and burn our volunteers—and then we wonder why they quit.”
One of my colleagues recently told me, “I volunteered for an organization for three years, and when I left, no one even contacted me.” He now volunteers for a similar organization where, “I feel appreciated every day here.”
When we ask people how they feel about the treatment they receive, if a free and open environment has been established, they will be candid.
6. Ask yourself, “What would it cost to replace our volunteers.”
For many leaders, it’s easy to become so consumed with growing the organization that the human factor can get forgotten.
As we look at 2017 approaching, it’s a good time to calculate the hours and expertise volunteers donated to you in 2016—and what it would cost your cause if you had to replace those volunteers with paid staff.
Best wishes to you for your most profitable and productive year yet—and the happiest volunteers anywhere!