Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Press Release Formula

So I've been working to perfect my skills in press release writing and distribution; all in preparation for promoting my novel once it's published. To do this, I've spearheaded the press release campaigns at my full-time job, volunteered to do some press release distribution for my high school reunion, and I've tested the waters with press announcements about Do You?'s recent award.

All-in-all my "press formula" seems to be working. All three press release projects have been successful in that I've been able to get press publication for articles at work, for the reunion, and for my book.

Here's why I think it's working:
  1. I've written several versions of the press releases to appeal to the audience served by the publications. As an example, for Do You?, I decided to target NJ and NH publications. For NJ publications I used a tag-line that mentioned that I am a local, NJ author. For NH publications I used the tie-in that I'm a NH high school graduate. Both appeal to the audience who want to hear about local success. In addition, the subject matter can also be utilized as a tie-in for industry specific publications. It's all about showing the recipient of the press release why your news is important to the publication's audience.
  2. I created a list of publications in the targeted area/industry/genre and researched contact names to correspond to each publication.
  3. When sending the press releases, I chose to send them via email with a personalized message for each publication. It's a bit more time consuming but the extra time increases the success of the story. Think about it, are you more likely to open an email that is personalized or one that looks like spam? Me, I'd open the personalized email and chuck the spam.
  4. And finally, I used a version of the tie-in tag line in the email subject so the person receiving the press release automatically knows that this is a story that has appeal to the readers.

I'm not saying that I'm a pro at this by any means, but I'm excited by the success in what I've been doing on a small scale. Now the trick is to create a plan that can be implemented on a national level for my next novel once it gets published.

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