We have compiled a few suggestions to help you get maximum coverage at the minimum cost in these tough times:
Press releases are the key way of letting a journalist know about your product. Keep them short and punchy and for maximum impact, focus on one product or aspect of your service, don’t be tempted to put lots into one release, it will muddy the effect. Journalists get sent 100s per day, so it’s important to make it as impactful as possible.
If you find the thought of writing your own releases daunting, post a request for a press release to be written by a professional on sites such as elance.com or peopleperhour.com – then you can get people competing on price, there have recently been some quotes as low as £25 per release.
A very simple tip for writing a release: if the product is new, include New in the title, journalists love writing about anything new and original.
Make your images available to journalists, the easier it is for journalists to access your high res images the more coverage you will get. Either create a simple download facility on your own website,
or use an online press office facility such as imageloft.co.uk. It costs £125 per month to host your images on their site and also puts them in front of the thousands of journalists who use it, and it’s a fraction of the cost of a PR agency.
Make your releases relevant and timely – for any releases relevant to an event send it 4 months ahead e.g. Valentines releases need to be sent in October to make sure you get in the monthly.
publications, and remember to include a reference to the day or event in the title.
Send releases – simply send the releases via email using the contacts you have gathered yourself. In addition, use a press release distribution facility to hit as many journalists as possible. There are
free ones such as Pressbox.co.uk, it might not get you much coverage, but it will improve your google ranking. Other paid ones such as Daryl Wilcox cost from £45 per release, and can generate high volumes of coverage.
In light of the economy, bargains and deals for products / services are well received by journalists, again, make sure this is featured in the subject heading of any press releases
Once you have the release written, buy the magazines you want to appear in, look at the specific sections your product / company is relevant for and then call the editorial assistant to find out the name and contact details of the journalist who works on that section.
To save time collating the contact details of all of the magazines / newspapers you can buy a database of journalists. The best one around is Gorkana. Although pricey at £5k per year, it has every journalist you could ever need and is still cheaper than most PR agencies.
Send freebies – if you have relatively low cost products or services to PR, the best way to get journalists to notice you is to send samples or offer free services. It is important however, to offer this to the right journalist so ask the editorial assistant to confirm who the right contact is.
Leads – to find out about the latest articles that journalists are working on, subscribe to ‘lead alert services’ such as Response Source from Daryl Wilcox or Request Loft from Image Loft. Prices start at around £300 per year. Journalists who are urgently looking for products, quotes or prizes send alerts using these services which registered companies can receive, these can give you some excellent additional opportunities to appear in the press.