Get In the Reporter Mindset Before You Write Your Next Press Release

Margaret Ross, Editor

Want your next business news release to get more attention?  Think like a reporter and jazz it up with a poll like the PR pros do.

When you are pitching a news release to reporters, it's very important to understand the reporter's needs - and the reporter's needs are not the same as yours.

Odds are you are writing a press release to promote something - a new book or a new product or a webinar or something else that you are excited about. Your goal in sending in a press release is to promote yourself.

The reporter doesn't care about your business or product; the reporter cares about the needs of his or her readers. If your press release contains information that is helpful or informative or entertaining to his or her readers, the reporter is much more likely to write a story about it.

A press release about the fact that you just released a new line of holistic dog shampoos is not liable to be very exciting to reporters. So how can you jazz it up?

One way to do that is to commission a professional polling/survey company to do a fun poll, the kind that might get picked up by numerous websites and go viral. For instance, if you sell dog products, you could do a poll to find out how much the average pet owner spends per year on their dogs, or how many pet owners have done without a necessity or skipped paying a bill in order to pay for something their dog needed.

If you sell exercise books, you could do a poll on how being overweight effects self-esteem. Notice this subject is broad enough, self image and exercise, so that the study findings are likely to be interesting. Leave your mind open to what ever the poll finds. Even if the poll results are not exactly what you wanted, it can still capture the imagination of a reporter.

Polls are appealing to reporters for several reasons:

1) They represent something new - brand new information that has not been reported before. Polls fall into the same category as scientific research studies carried out by universities; a qualified expert has studied a phenomenon and discovered something new and is now reporting it.

2) Polls are often fun, entertaining, and they contain some quirky new facts that people will talk about around the water cooler.

3) Polls are very popular with readers, which makes them appealing to reporters.

For Polls & Studies Proof Is In the Pick Up

Pick up is how often and in how many places the study's story is repeated. These national headlines are powerful proof that polls created reporter interest. All were repeated, linked to, and referenced over a hundred times in a single morning news cycle

Poll: Support for Health Care is Tepid

US Comes Second in Competitiveness Poll

Study: Americans Purchasing Generic Brands and Brown Bagging It

When you are tearing your hair out trying to come up with a way to make your news release irresistible to reporters, consider investing a little extra money in a poll, to get a lot more publicity and exposure.


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Contact: Margaret Ross is President and CEO of the Kamaron Institute, a leading business management consulting, marketing research, and staff development firm.


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