Follow These Steps for Effective Industrial P/R
If you’re sending out an industrial press release without the assistance of a marketing communications professional, it helps to know what editors EXPECT from the professionals. If you follow these steps, your efforts will undoubtedly be more effective.
1. Just because we’re living in the more casual Internet age doesn’t mean that style and etiquette should be thrown out the window!
2. Know who to send it to, not just where. Find out who the editor is for the section of the publication you want your release to appear in. Just a little digging on their web site will often provide you with the information, but you can definitely find out with one phone call.
3. Only send the release to one person per publication. If you want to, you can CC the advertising sales rep responsible for your account. (They do have a vested interest in keeping you happy!) It will only create frustration (or a negative perception of you) if you send the release to three different people at the same magazine, and they find out later their efforts on your behalf have been duplicated.
4. Don’t just send, follow-up. Editors at trade publications sometimes receive hundreds of press releases per week. Unless you’re announcing something that is going to rock their industrial world, you need to ensure they actually READ your release and make a commitment to consider it for publication. Follow-up AGAIN if they can’t give you a firm date for publication.
5. Know and honor your deadlines. Magazines are usually planned months in advance of publication. If there’s an issue you’re specifically targeting for your release because the editorial focus includes your product, make sure you send the release prior to the editorial deadline for that issue. For instance, a magazine that covers the chemical processing industry has one issue devoted to pumps / valves / compressors and you’re announcing a “next generation” of the pump you manufacture. That’s the issue you want to be in, so meet the deadline!
6. Keep the release short and informative. In this time of cut-backs, Editors are even busier than before. Don’t waste their time with releases that are unnecessarily wordy. Most press releases should be kept to one page, two is the maximum. If an editor needs more information, he’ll ask.
7. Write the release in a news style. Remember “press release 101”: Who, what, where and when. Try to fit all of that into the first paragraph, then elaborate in the paragraphs that follow. Use short words and sentences. Make sure what you’re saying is clear.
8. At the top of every page, include the title of the release, the date of the release, and the name and phone number of key contact people.
9. If you have a good photo, send it or includes the words “photos available upon request” with your information at the top of the page. Only send high quality photos, which usually means professionally taken, and high resolution. A good quality photo could win you a spot on the cover the magazine!
10. End a press release with ### typed across the center of the page a couple lines below the end of your text. If a release is continued on another page, type ” – more -” at the bottom of the page in the center.
11. Even in the trade industries, most press releases are emailed these days. It’s still alright to send a press release through the mail, but if you do, fold it so that the headline and date will be the first thing the editor sees when opening the envelope. (But seriously, doesn’t the sense of your release being urgent news get lost when you mail it?) You might want to consider that and try a little harder to get the editor’s email address!