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2 Quick Tips to Great Press Releases

Jul 1, 2008
If you are struggling to get the media interested in your press release, you are not alone. Many people believe that you write a release, send it over to the producer at a radio station and wait for the avalanche of phone calls. Then, when you get no response, you call up the station who promptly tells you that they never read it!

If you want your radio press releases to grab the attention of producers...here are two quick tips to crafting an effective press release!

1. Topic Overview

Once you have gained attention with your eye-catching headline, topic summary, and talking points, it is time to present your full show idea. This is when to position yourself as an expert on the topic.
Do not write a sales piece here. Write the show. Work the author's name, personal quotes, and book title into the overview. Use the following liberally to build your topic and profile: statistics, testimonials, current facts, specifics from relevant news stories, and professional credentials. Use anything that will interest the producer, the host, and their audience. Try to limit this section to no more than a page; the ideal range is four to six paragraphs with no more than four sentences in each one.

A Topic Overview for a show on pets would read as follows:

For some people, "cute" is the only criterion they follow when choosing a new pet. But deciding which pet to adopt based solely on the animal's appearance can set new "pet parents" up for disaster. After all, puppies don't look quite so cute when they're chewing your furniture! Lack of foresight is one of the top reasons an estimated 6 to 8 million unwanted pets end up at local animal shelters each year.

Enter pet expert Jane Doe, author of the new book about pets.

As a bonafide animal lover, she wants to help prospective pet owners understand how to make the best decision when choosing a new pet and to recognize that adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment and responsibility that requires much thought and planning.

"There's no denying the attraction to a cute puppy or kitten," says Jane. "But people need to be fully prepared for what's truly involved in caring for that animal. Realistically speaking, they are bringing a child into their home. If you don't have the temperament, the schedule, or the space requirements to meet those needs, you should consider a pet that does fit your lifestyle."

Another important factor that often goes overlooked is how children in a family will interact with a new pet. Pets make wonderful companions for children and can help teach them compassion, responsibility, and respect for all living creatures, as well as boost their self-esteem. But it's important to determine ahead of time what type of animal best suits the household and what role each family member will take in caring for it.

Money also comes into play when adopting a new pet. Vet bills can be expensive, and upkeep for some animals can be costly if they develop health problems.

"The reality is, pets can be expensive and time intensive. When you love your pet, obviously you want to provide the best care possible. So it is important to understand the costs and responsibilities ahead of time when choosing your pet."

2. Biography

Oddly, this is the element people tend to forget, underplay, or overplay. It is important to position the author as an expert. You can cite a variety of qualifications: education, career, relationships, memberships, travel history, odd pets, and more.

If the book is about religion, for example, anything the author does that pertains to religion is applicable.

Two warnings: Sensationalizing the author's credentials will immediately turn producers and hosts off; and simply rehashing a resume with bullet points is an absolute no-no.

If you take your time developing exactly what a book related interview segment will be about, and then put lots of thought into developing a press release that clearly reflects your planning, you will command more media attention.
About the Author
For 20 years Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on public relations as CEO of EMSI. Go to http://www.publicitythatworks.com to claim your free "Power of Public Relations" video today!
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