One of the things discussed in my media training sessions is the need to target press releases to the right outlet. You can craft an eloquent and beautiful press release if you like but if it hits the wrong target it won’t get covered. Sometimes I respond to people who have sent me something irrelevant; more often I delete the thing.
People don’t always understand that this is an issue. So here is a really quick explanation – I haven’t checked my in-box before writing this (honestly) but I’ll tell you that I write about small business, about large outsourcing engagements and about a number of political and economic issues for sponsored supplements in the New Statesman (there’s one coming out this coming Friday on manufacturing, which I edited and of which I’m particularly proud, if anyone is interested).
This information is easily available and hasn’t changed much for years. So here are some subjects about which people have nonetheless sent me press releases over the last five working days – and I’m going to check now, without having taken notes in advance (this will be important later):
- Today: Where rich people get married
- Yesterday: A video on how to do trick shots in basketball
- Monday: Photo opportunities with a load of spacehoppers in London
- Friday: Fabric artist launches a load of landscape images on her textiles
- Thursday: Ride-on toys for kids launched
OK, two points to make here. First, if you’re a client and you recognise your story above, you are paying people to send it somewhere completely irrelevant and wrong. I have never written anything relevant about any of the subjects above and I’ve been freelance since 1993.
The second point – almost upsettingly – is that I didn’t even have to look before starting this post. I knew there would be something ridiculous and poorly targeted every day.
I suppose the good news is that if you think about where you’re sending stuff and target it properly, it puts you into the top quadrant of PR people and marketers.
There is of course more to it than that, and if your company needs help with its writing and journalist-related activities in general I’d be happy to help. Call me on 07973 278780 or drop me a note using the form below and we’ll talk.