Jack Delosa – Get Your Press Release Read by the Right People
UNIVERSITY DROPOUT JACK DELOSA MADE HIS FIRST MILLION BY THE TIME HE WAS 24.
NOW 26, HE’S BUILT SEVERAL START-UPS INTO THRIVING COMPANIES AND BECOME AUSTRALIA’S MOST AWARDED ENTREPRENEUR UNDER 30.
IN HIS BOOK – UNPROFESSIONAL – JACK GOES AGAINST THE GRAIN OF TRADITIONAL BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT THINKING AND TELLS YOU WHAT YOU WON’T LEARN ABOUT ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN ANY MBA PROGRAM.
THIS WEEK WE SHARE AN EXCERPT FROM UNPROFESSIONAL EXPLAINING HOW TO GET YOUR COMPANY’S PRESS RELEASE READ BY THE RIGHT PEOPLE.
Getting it out there: “Once you have written your press release, it’s important to remember the first rule of PR: be the exception to the rule.
The ‘Submit a Story’ tab on a website is not the way to submit a story.
Nor is buying a list of 10,000 journalists and sending them all a generic email about your story.
Business is all about relationships, and that is especially true when it comes to building a good reputation in the media.
Rather than spamming 10,000 journalists with a story that may or may not be appropriate for them, I would much rather build a great relationship with six to eight great journalists that I can call when I have a story, and who will call me when they need a quote on another story they’re running.
That way I can learn their style, I can build a profile of the kind of stories they love and I can work with them in producing great work.
You can always find a person’s name.
It might be that of the editor of a magazine you’re looking for; it might be that of a particular journalist or columnist with a newspaper; or it might be the producer of a morning show.
If you are looking for a contact at a magazine, flick through the first few pages of the magazine and you will find a list of names, job titles, phone numbers and probably a generic email address.
This is all the info you need to start.
If it’s a newspaper, simply Google the person’s name and chances are you’ll be able to find a direct email for that person.
You can also call the newspaper and ask for the person by name — not to talk to them about ‘a press release’, but to speak about ‘a research project we’ve recently conducted that relates to the article they wrote in last week’s newspaper’.
If it’s a television show, then you’ll be able to find the names of the producers and executive producers on the website and, same again, give them a call referencing a research piece you have recently completed that’s relevant and topical in the media right now.
Once you have a name, phone number (even if it’s generic) and an email address, do this:
1. Call them: The objective of this call is not to get them to say ‘Yes, we’d love to run the story’, but rather to have them say, ‘Sure, shoot something over and I’ll have a look it.’ Just this minor change in approach means that out of the hundreds of press releases they’re going to receive that day, yours will be read.
2. Email them: Send a personalised press release, entitled, for instance, ‘For immediate release for The Sydney Morning Herald’. When talking about the current issue you’re leveraging off, mention a specific article or piece they recently wrote that’s relevant to that issue. Demonstrate that they’re not one on a list of 10,000, and that you have done your research and understand them and their publication.
3. Follow up call: If you don’t hear back within two days, give them another call. If they haven’t responded, it’s because they’re not interested, they haven’t read it, they were going to come back to you to ask for extra information and haven’t had the chance yet or they love it and it’s going to print or going to air next week.
If they haven’t looked at it, that’s completely fine.
Journalism is one of the busiest professions, so just let them know that you appreciate how busy they are and that you will wait to hear from them.
If it’s a ‘no’, then, without being pushy simply ask why: ‘That’s completely fine. Just so I can better tailor something for you next time, can I ask what didn’t work for you with this particular story?’
Journalists will always be more than happy to provide feedback, because hopefully it means next time you will send them a story they can run, and everyone wins.
I get how ‘simple’ this must sound. That’s the point.
Business was never meant to be complex – perhaps that’s why so many successful business people are self-made, because they just found the simplest way to go from A to B and get the result.
This simple formula – press release structure and strategy for getting it out there – has enabled us and our clients to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in PR every single year.
It works. Now you just need to work it.”
Jack is founder and director of The Entourage Australia’s largest educator and community of entrepreneurs with over 60,000 Members around the world. http://www.the-entourage.com.au
Jack Delosa’s book Unprofessional is available online and in stores now $24.95