Consider this: you are a public person and quite mindful about your reputation management in online and print media. You either do your media relations yourself which is time-consuming and unprofessional or delegate it to your PR advisors (you need those) which is what you should be doing in any case.
Don’t delegate it to your wife or nephews, please! This calls for a coordinated strategy not for family ping-pong in the back yard.
Here are a few tips about engaging the media when issuing a press release:
- CONTENT – Do you have something to say? You are already a public figure; hence you do not need to remind it time and time again to your key journalists.
- NEWS – Is it news or plain information? Is it news-worthy or just babbling about the usual topics? If it’s not news material, forget it, the fact that you’re a public figure does not mean you have to be covered on each and every release.
- UP TO DATE – Is it a hot topic? Don’t ramble on issues long time forgotten even if you feel you need to, it won’t get coverage.
- CREATIVITY – Are you creative enough to engage your audience? Do you have a story to tell or better, can you produce a breaking news? Proofread your press release time and time again until you have it. Avoid being too literary, you’re off the track. Keep it short!
- GRAMMAR – The obvious: is it free of grammar and typing errors? Journalists will do a copy-paste thing so you’d better be sure your copywriter is good at what he/she is doing. You certainly do not want the media to poke fun at such details!
- FREQUENCY – For Pete’s sake, don’t do it daily even if you have worthy comments on daily news, it will be perceived as annoying; after all, you are not a news agency and don’t have to streamline it 24h/24h. And please, not in the evening, it will get lost!
- ETHICS – Is it true or false? Ok, if you’re in office and covered by public oath, we might just skip this part and make allowances, after all, media knows you do not mean everything you say! But keep it within the realm of truthful allegations even if you’re aiming at a little bit of controversy around there!
- CONTROVERSY – Make your controversy worth the time of your readers. It should engage a dialogue with comments from other public figures and provoke reactions. Bitter or sweet, it’s your take. Others should be talking about you!
- CONSISTENCY – Stay true to your position throughout the time! Don’t change it unless you have really good arguments, people do remember what you did last summer!
- BE UNSELECTIVE – First, post it on your own web page plus social media channels. Then, blast it to your target media in an accessible word format, forget pdf options. Don’t issue your press release only to media that is certainly going to cover it, enlarge your target and focus on media that seem adamant about your activity. You’re sure to get their attention by news-worthy topics!
Of course the list is open depending on the context, but the above are basic key items to ensure press release coverage and use it your way. Now, start drafting!