to Write Press Releases that Get Published"
by Paul J. Krupin
Do you want to know the secret of writing a news release that
will get published? Here it is:
My secret for publicity success, developed from rigorous self
assessment, after having sent out over a million faxed news releases
on behalf of over 2,000 clients:
"Tell me a story, give me a local news angle, touch my heart
(make me laugh or cry), hit me in my pocketbook, make my stomach
turn over, or grab my gonads."
Do this as many times as possible in a one page news release
in 30 seconds or less and you will succeed in getting publicity.
A few years ago I spoke at the National Public Relations Society
meetings in Omaha. I found out that most publicists at most big
PR firms don't have a real clue about how to write a news release
to get news coverage. They write corporate fluff.
Rarely do you see them create something that makes an editor
drop what he’s doing and pick up the phone and call. And
yet this is what you want an editor to do.
Few people who write a news release really think about what they
want the editor to do after they receive and read a news release.
I’ve been sending out news releases for people for almost
22 years, and most of the people who come to me initially write
detailed book reviews or commercial news and web site announcements,
not short ideas for articles intended to attract editors’
attention and get a dialog going that results in a feature story
I often have to tell them to start over or shift gears.
A lot has to do with the content and quality of the book, product
service or web site, but let's just assume that you've written
the be-all, end-all of whatever subject in your field. This is
the ultimate sensation. The only thing anyone will ever need or
want. You're all charged up and revved up to go. Now what...
A Publicity Plan!
Yes! A Publicity Plan.
First, establish your goals for the release. Write them down.
Memorize them. Sleep on it. Wake up and think about them some
Remember you have to integrate your marketing with your PR and
keep it all within your budget. So identify what you have available
and write down how much you want to spend -- and on what -- and
when -- and with whom.
Let's assume your goal is getting the word out about your product.
It could be an initial announcement. It could be part of a year-long
monthly campaign to a well targeted media list (again and again
to get name recognition).
Look at your schedule and see that this week your task is at
You want to get an article published in as many places as possible,
to feed sales, acquire name recognition, drive web traffic, all
of the above, or whatever. These are common goals.
Now it’s time to be more specific. Narrow your options
and tighten the true alternatives you wish to seriously consider.
Think strategically. Narrow the goals and keep it as simple as
Whatever your specific publicity goals, you need to be mindful
of the types of news releases that can be written: · Print
releases for feature stories · Op-Eds Tips articles
Radio and TV interview releases
Product or services releases
Internet News Releases
E-mail news releases
All these can produce publicity success. But writing each type
of release entails arraying different information into a different
format and style of presentation. Each release has a different
purpose and asks the editor or producer to take a different action.
And doing any of these well in order to succeed is a daunting
Every year I complete a qualitative review of our custom news
distribution and the relative success people have been having
in getting published as a result of sending fax and e-mail news
releases. We analyze this data to see what works and what doesn’t
work. We ask our clients what got published and where, and how
much publicity or success they experienced as a result. While
this is by no means statistically definitive, it is nonetheless
We've seen one page releases sent to targeted media lists result
in successful publicity (defined loosely as having resulted in
either wide national publicity, a significant number > 35,
top national interviews or bookings, or profit) for book authors,
publishing companies, product firms, and government agencies,
whose one-page news releases took one of the following approaches.
So no matter what type of news release you write, you will increase
your chances of success if it incorporates one or more of the
following. Here's what appears to be working the best: ·
human interest angles -- particularly with heartwarming anecdotal
stories that reveal deep emotion or feelings with bright, colorful
word pictures, and enriched sensory experience · interpersonal
relationships on difficult or controversial issues -- focus on
love, sex, money, communications between men and women, parents
and children, companies, and employees, government and individuals,
tips articles advice and tactics excerpted from books, ten commandments,
ten tips, etc.
unusual events -- unique personal accomplishments, unusual creative
humor and wisdom, fun and tragedy
really new and unique products or books Internet innovations
politically and socially important editorial tie - in articles
holiday and event tie in articles
At least in my humble opinion, for those of you writing news
releases or seeking publicity, your chances of success are likely
to be increased if you follow one of these formats.
Even when you do, you will maximize your success if you give
the editor a "local news angle". Localizing news releases
maximizes the publication of your release in weekly and daily
newspapers. The easiest publicity to get is the announcement of
a local event with a distinct local human interest angle. You
don’t have to do the editors work for him, but the idea
that the news release can be easily adapted to appeal to local
needs must be very clear.
Sometimes getting national publicity is harder, especially in
mainstream publications. You need to have a news angle that has
some interest at a national level. You also will compete against
everyone else vying for attention in the nation, and you have
to distinguish why your release is worth publishing over others.
You can make your job easier and be more successful by breaking
your national media lists into geographically distinct areas and
localizing the release.
You can create custom media lists on the Internet at the Internet
to Media Fax: Click Here.
Even once you've identified you target media, settled on a type
of news release, it all comes down to writing the actual release.
Assuming you are aiming at print (radio/tv releases are a different
animal) -- here's my advice.
Bottom line -- find out what works specifically in the media
you want to be in and use my special simple technique for publicity
and news release success.
The Identify, Imitate and Innovate Technique
Go to a newsstand, and pick up the latest issues of every relevant
magazine or publication you can find. The ones you want to be
in. Spend at least . Then dissect each magazine for book articles.
Use yellow stickies, or cut these out and make a scrapbook. Study
the publications closely and see how they write book articles
and reviews. Make a list of the headlines. Study the style, length,
focus, content, word choice.
Then start writing by imitating the articles you see. Remember
most of the small articles (which are the easiest to get published
are one page 200 words.
Then Innovate it. Re-write it fifteen times. Make it Short and
Snappy. Vary the character of your news release to the media you
are aiming at.
You've written the end all of all books in the field. Or you’ve
created the best product in the world. This is the ultimate sensation.
The only book or product anyone will ever need. Get enthused.
Now tell people why you are enthused in 150 to 200 words.
Read it out loud as if you were live on the air -- see if it
By the way, good short articles in newspapers and magazines are
often read on radio stations and on talk shows every day, especially
on morning radio talk shows. This has happened to me. Listen closely
when it happens. Remember what the radio announcer is doing. He's
reading a paper or magazine on the air. Wow -- a force multiplier
effect. Like being seen on Oprah and getting asked to do an interview
with People magazine (This happened to my client Courtney Garton.
You can see the 7/27/98 edition of People magazine). It also happened
to my client Ms. Karen Derrico, author of Unforgettable Mutts.
She did an interview on a small radio station in New York City,
and was heard by William Safire, who then wrote about the Million
Mutt March on Mother’s day in Washington DC in his column
in the New York Times.
A news release has to sing to you before you send it to me, if
I am to make you the best possible custom targeted media list
I possibly can.
Best way I know to make it right is to follow in the footsteps
of the successful before you.
Paul J. Krupin (author of the best selling ebook "Trash
Proof News Releases") is an acknowledged authority on
PR and Media, with over 2,000 top-notch clients. In his book Paul
Krupin reveals the secrets on how you can get the publicity you
deserve so that your product or business will benefit tremendously
from the media exposure.
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