I've worked both sides of the public relations desk -- as a public relations manager for a hospital and as a journalist that received press releases. There are ways to get your news printed and ways to get your news ignored.
Avoid these top three public relations mishaps and set yourself apart from the competition:
- Don’t tell the reporter what you sell; tell him about the results you offer. A potential customer doesn’t really care that you can sell her a widget, she wants to know how your widget will solve her problems. Being a problem solver sets you apart. Do you have a particular training niche that is showing results? Talk about the results first, the training method second. Have you started a great charity fundraiser? Tell who will benefit and why you are the one that is spearheading it.
- Know who your audience is and target your press releases wisely. If your market doesn’t watch the local public access channel or doesn’t read the local paper, you’re wasting your time and efforts sending a press release to that outlet. Are there other influencers in your community to whom you could send a press release? Are you a member of a professional organization that might be interested in your news? If you’ve determined that the local paper is your best outlet, target the correct section of that paper and, if possible, send the press release directly to the editor of that section. Again, tell the reporter about the benefits of what you’re doing, not the product you’re selling. If you’re only selling a product the reporter will likely have the ad department contact you.
- Be enthusiastic and passionate in your press releases. Have fun when you’re spreading the news. If you’re excited about the venture you’re writing the press release about, that will show through the words on the page. A great way to get your press release printed or even get yourself interviewed is to target your release to a holiday.