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There are many factors to weigh when considering the need to send out a press release. As a publicist I have sent thousands of releases over the years and while there are no hard and fast rules, the most important factor is that you've got to make sure it's newsworthy and useful to the reader. Any thing else and it's just a waste of time for the members of the media.
A good press release can accomplish a lot of things too. It can be used to announce information to the public, your investors, the media, your customers and even your competitors about you and your activities. To help my clients determine whether something is newsworthy I compiled a list of fifty-five press release ideas I give to them to get their ideas flowing about their own businesses. Some are for general consumer media and some may not apply to all business types.
1. Announce a new service.
Once you get the release written now what? How do you put it in the hands of the media? How can a company or individual know if it can handle media relations themselves or if it needs to hire a public relations firm, an independent publicist or a full fledged marketing firm? If you aren't completely certain after debating the pros and cons, ask these questions:
* Are we getting all the PR we deserve?
First of all, let's define a PR firm. Some people interchange a PR firm with a marketing firm, or marketing agency, or even an ad agency. Basically a public relations firm handles media relations and is the interface between a company and the news media.
A public relations firm or publicist will "pitch" the media on a story idea involving a company, invention or author. A good pitch about a story that would interest the people who read, watch or listen to a particular media outlet gets coverage.
Many larger companies rely on in-house staff trained in public relations or marketing while others hire PR consultants or publicists to handle their PR campaigns.
Joe Nicassio, author of Guerrilla PR Brand Manager, says whether a company should conduct its public relations, marketing or advertising campaigns internally or externally should be determined by these factors"
Do you NEED solid, consistent media exposure week after week, or are you satisfied with "occasional" exposure?
Do you have the internal staff and expertise to commit the internal resources to your public relations, marketing, advertising efforts?
If you have the internal staff, and they understand Guerrilla PR principles, then there may be no reason to hire an outside agency. Paradoxically, the busier you get, the easier it is to parlay, or "set aside" consistent, important PR activities. Don't get caught in that trap!
"Public Relations is a craft that requires PASSION," says Nicassio. "You may need PR, and you may even have the people to conduct your public relations, marketing, advertising campaigns but that's not enough. To be truly effective, your PR campaigns must be conducted with PASSIONATE CONSISTENCY."
Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications ( www.westwindcos.com ), a public relations and marketing firm which specializes in marketing authors. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC Nightly News, ESPN, The New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Family Circle, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few. To discuss how Westwind Communications helps its clients get all the publicity they deserve and more visit www.westwindcos.com/book or call 734-667-2090 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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