In these days of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, iPhones, Blackberries, and YouTube – oh my! – it can be difficult to get (and hold) a busy journalist’s attention. With a ringing phone, e-mails demanding attention, and Twitter updates to tend to, the last thing on a journalist’s mind is your boring old press release.
So what’s a PR professional to do? Surely, you would never consider doing away with the press release altogether. Read on to learn what you can do to promote your company in these days of the technological monsoon.
1. Consider writing a news story yourself.
Journalists look at press releases to get story ideas. Then they contact the company, collect facts, and write the actual story. Do your local journalists a favor. Write the story for them. It will save them time, and your work is much less likely to be tossed in the trash.
2. Provide a media kit or background sheet.
The amount of time journalists must spend collecting information about a topic may discourage them from choosing to write about your company. Make it easier for them by providing clear, concrete facts and contact information where you may be reached if the media has questions.
3. Write an introductory letter.
If your company is new to the field or city, write an introductory letter to the media that states who you are and your area of expertise. The next time a journalist needs information about your field/specialty, you’ll likely be one of the first people he or she contacts. When you provide information to the media, you’re able to show your company in a good light and build credibility.
4. Create a YouTube video.
Let’s face it. Journalists read and write and read and write all day long. Give them something new to look at, and you’ll likely reap the benefits. A YouTube video can reach a different audience than a plain old press release, and is worth a shot if your company is looking to try something different.
5. Participate in a Twitter chat.
Twitter is one of the fastest growing social media sites for young and seasoned professionals. The site is used by individuals, media outlets and corporations alike, so you are likely to reach a variety of people who may be interested in what your business has to offer. By participating in a Twitter chat, your company demonstrates that it can provide knowledge to potential customers and create a level of credibility that is important to gaining and keeping clients.