Saturday, July 30, 2011

Star Press

One thing I find really annoying in my line of work:

Like it or not, most people now have home computers, smartphones, and access to the internet pretty much everywhere they go. (And if you're going to Outer Mongolia or some other place where you don't have it, leave an out of office message that says so.)

There is absolutely NO reason why a member of the press should not be able to contact someone immediately in response to a press release! NONE! Don't be a stooge! Read on:::

One time I received a press release with FIVE different phone numbers on them and NOT ONE SINGLE answer! Either ring-ring-ring-ring or a non-dated voicemail. (I can't tell you how many times people will call me back DAYS LATER after I have left a message!)

If you can't be right at the phone or have someone who will be, and you expect a successful press event to happen, for goddsakes PLEASE record a special message, something like: "Hi it's Phil on Tuesday, November 10, if you're calling about the press release leave your contact info and I will call you right back." THAT lets the person calling know that they have a better than 50% chance of speaking with a live person before DEADLINE... or leave an alternate, a cell number, an email address... if you want coverage!

I took a chance one time and went to a news conference without being able to verify the information that was presented in the press release. Guess who was the ONLY reporter at the event? ME! The other radio and TV stations passed because there were other events (maybe not as important) happening where they WERE able to make contact with a living soul!

In this modern "I want it NOW" world, reporter's deadlines have shrunk like crazy! If you email me your press release tonight, and I read it at 0800 tomorrow, you better have SOMEBODY manning the phones 0900 or before and you better be able to produce people I can interview by 1000! I'm sorry, but that's the way it is today!

Now, if you have a place where you can upload AUDIO and/or VIDEO tracks, you are way ahead of the game and making it eaasier for the press to cover your event! "Oh, you couldn't make it out to hear so-and-so speak about the issue? We have a soundbite on our website and a video of the presser on YouTube." You will be surprised how well that scenario plays out!

Permission to reprint this blog post in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that the author (or authors) and Dave Lucas are properly cited. Permission to reprint any comments below is granted only for those comments written by Dave Lucas and staff.
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