Get your message out there!

There’ll come a time in the life of every business when it needs to go public with an announcement. It might be moving premises, change of ownership, winning a new agency, developing new technology, or installing new plant that can give you new customers. Whatever the reason, you may need to get your message out there as widely as possible. This can be done by creating a media release and sending it to whichever media outlets are appropriate.

Getting past the media gatekeepers

Following these steps will help you get the message out.

    1. Work out exactly what goal you want to achieve with this release to the media. Write down, with no fluff, precisely what effect or result you want to achieve from the audience that you will reach. Do you want them to discover more about you? To visit your website? To understand your mission, values or purpose?
    2. Pick the publications you want, that have the audience you want to reach. Ring to confirm the contact for your section. Contact them, discuss the idea, confirm deadlines, ask about any special conditions or rules, length limitations etc.
    3. Organise your facts – keep it simple – Remember “who, what, when, where, why, and how”.
    4. Create the story using simple words, short sentences. Aim at “semi-formal” language for most mass media. Specialist or technical media can use less formal language – go with the “tone” of the publication. Never submit your release until you’ve read/watched/heard that particular media channel! Depending on your audience, a press release can be an interview with you as principal, or a direct speech from you to the audience, or completely third party and factual, with no direct ‘voice” at all.
    5. Review your story. Take out all unnecessary words, sentences, or padding.
    6. Check spelling and grammar, use double spacing, short paragraphs, not more than one concept per sentence. Remember KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).
    7. Get the piece reviewed by someone who doesn’t know your business. Check for simple language (the reading ability of a bright 10-year-old is just about right for mass media). NO trade jargon or technical terms.
    8. Most importantly, check to see that your business phone, website and email address is included, and the details are accurate. No, really, it does happen!
    9. Attach your own contact details if appropriate.
    10. Finally, ring your media contact and if possible PERSONALLY deliver the release and discuss with them.

More help

Crafting a good media release is not easy. As a result, you might consider using a marketing or PR specialist or agency. Our advisors can help with referrals and guide you through the selection process. Although, some, like myself, have a marketing background and enjoy rolling our sleeves up and getting stuck into the detail.

By Dominic Moran