By Mark Macias
A web TV show recently asked me to help promote their program with the mainstream media. I was flattered by the invitation, especially since the producers also have a media background and are theoretically “media experts” themselves.
Before I had a chance to say, “hmmm, I’m hungry,” they emailed me their press release, asking me what I thought.
I read it and squinched.
It was horrible.
Their press release had no focus, no narrative. It was an announcement for a show.
The mainstream media doesn’t want to do announcements. They get paid to tell stories.
Press Release 101
If you’re trying to get publicity for your small business, you need to focus the message and uncover the news peg before you send it out because you only get one chance with reporters.
Look for the controversy and exploit it. Or, position yourself as an expert.
And look to the future, not the past. In the case with that web program, the producers focused their release on a guest who appeared on their program a few weeks earlier. That’s not even an announcement. It’s old news.
So take your time to make sure the message is in place before you reach out to any reporters, or you risk losing any chance of getting publicity before you even start.
Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with WNBC, Senior Producer with WCBS and Special Projects Producer with NBC. He’s also the author of the communications book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media. Macias now consults small and large businesses on how to get publicity. You can read more on his firm at MaciasPR.