PR Question - the life of a Press Release

playmulliganplaymulligan subscriber Posts: 3
edited July 2008 in Public Relations
I have a question for a PR Professional.  We are a very small startup company that has created a dice golf game  (like Yahtzee for golfers).  Since we launched in November 2007 - we have had 2 successful write ups in regional golf magazines and 2 successful write ups in local newspapers.  We`re pleased but still need to keep plugging away.  We have found that the newspaper articles actually sell the games.
 
Question is - what is the life of a press release?  We wrote a press release announcing the launch of our game and send it to only 150 media.  I would like to take that same press release and send it to a number of sports writers for hundreds of local newspapers.  Is it ok to send out a press release announcing a new product 6 months after it came out?  Or do I need to find a new angle? Not sure what that would be.
 
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
 
Kelly

www.playmulligan.com

 
 

Comments

  • PRProPRPro subscriber Posts: 25
    Hi Kelly,
     
    Congrats on your success so far! Have you tried pitching your story to media members directly? By calling them, you will probably generate more press than just sending out a press release alone.
     
    Also, I would try to update your press release with a new angle, trend or case study. Reporters want new information, and it will be worth it to develop a new angle. Archive your previous press releases online so that reporters still have access to that info.
     
    Hope this helps, and I wish you all the best!
    Melanie
  • DCCSCSDCCSCS subscriber Posts: 6
    How do I find out who is the best contact at different media.  I am hoping to get some print in the newspapers of my area, but haven`t had much success.  A lot of them have submissions online, but that really doesn`t seem to get anywhere.  I want to talk to the right person for my stories, but I am not sure how to find out who the right person is.
    Thanks,
  • PRProPRPro subscriber Posts: 25
    Hi Brandon,
     
    That`s a good question.
     
    Read the media venue and figure out who writes about your industry. Who will be interested in your story?
     
    Then, call and ask to speak directly to that person. But be sure you have practiced your pitch in advance.
     
    Many times, a phone call works much better than an e-mail.
     
    For more information on this topic, see:

    http://www.startupnation.com/blogs/inde ... lacements/


    http://www.startupnation.com/steps/77/s ... ations.htm and


    http://rembrandtblog.com/

     
    Hope this helps,
    Melanie
  • sddreamweaverssddreamweavers subscriber Posts: 5 Member

    Then, call and ask to speak directly to that person. But be sure you have practiced your pitch in advance. Many times, a phone call works much better than an e-mail.  

    Totally agree with this.  I`m in the process of compiling a list of people that I want to contact for two separate customers but as you said I need to have my pitch practiced in advance. 
    My Advice is to have an elevator pitch written, committed to memory and practiced to the point that you aren`t just repeating words but passionately letting your target markets about what you are doing and what you are about.
  • playmulliganplaymulligan subscriber Posts: 3
    Jennifer,
    Thank you for your comments and recommendations - greatly appreciated.  We are learning alot about the process and yes, it has been a daunting task - and certainly not within my comfort zone.
    I continued on to read your blog and check out your website.  Your website is very nicely done and I plan on continuing on reading your blog for ideas as it is very insightful.  It is definetely a small world though - we used to live in Chicago (Southport/Roscoe area) and my husband actually lived on Marshfield!
    Good luck to you as well.
    Get on a Roll!
    Kelly


     
  • DCCSCSDCCSCS subscriber Posts: 6
    Alright, so I should call before sending anything to the media.  Also, what is the best way to present my information?  An elevator pitch?  I`ve tried writing some press releases (which I spend some time on, but fear they are only average), do I send those?  Do I try to sell a specific angle to them, to get them to put something together about me?
    Thanks, the information thus far has been fantastic!
  • PRProPRPro subscriber Posts: 25
    Hi Brandon,
     
    Before you contact a media member, figure out why he/she will be interested in what you have to say. Why are you unique? How have your products and services helped others?
     
    Read some of the articles that reporter has written in the past. Then, develop a unique story angle specifically for that person.
     
    You can also call and simply introduce yourself. Say that you are a local entrepreneur and available as an expert resource for future stories.
     
    For more details on this, there is data available at http://www.startupnation.com/blogs/inde ... lacements/ and http://www.startupnation.com/steps/77/s ... ations.htm.
     
    Hope this helps,
    Melanie
  • KRZWKRZW subscriber Posts: 1
    I have been working in PR and Marketing for more than 20 years. Things have changed over the years, but one thing that hasn`t is the demand for a fresh, new angle on any story. Since your product is 6 months old now, the story I`d pitch to the media is how the game has taken off and if there is a newer version or other milestone.
     
    Kim Wierman

    www.wavesofgratitude.com

     
  • IvanbrezakbrkanIvanbrezakbrkan subscriber Posts: 0
    Alright, so I should call before sending anything to the media.  Also, what is the best way to present my information?  An elevator pitch?  I`ve tried writing some press releases (which I spend some time on, but fear they are only average), do I send those?  Do I try to sell a specific angle to them, to get them to put something together about me?

    Hi Brandon,
    Yes, you should call before sending anything. That way you achieve two things:
    - You can immediately see if the journalist is interested in your story
    - You can feel around how best you should, as you said, angle the story.
    When writing your press release or personalizing it to a specific paper or journalist, always see what they usually write about, what they like. A lot of my colleagues (I`m an ICT journalist) are far more happy to work with people who are trying to help them do their job better, not just pitch them. So, ask the journalist what he is interested in, what he needs, etc. If he needs extra photos and you have some - do send them.
    A lot of news reporters will just copy a press release a lot of the time for a smaller story - so do include all the things you want published.
    Always keep in mind that a good journalists wants the same thing as you - a good story.
  • MarketEditorMarketEditor subscriber Posts: 0
    I`m an editor at a national consumer magazine and vet thousands of press releases each month.
    I`ll tell you, receiving a press release six months behind a launch is useless to me. As an editor, my job is to break the news before it happens, or at the very least, right as it happens. And since most magazines work months in advance (we just closed our October issues), a year may have gone by by the time your press release translates to a news item in book.
    And to be honest, a press release simply announcing a launch isn`t going to get much play with me anyway. I`m looking for entertaining news with a twist. After all, my readers are only reading me to be entertained.
    Find a trend that your business taps into, then pitch that to me in a newsy way that will appeal to MY audience. Don`t package it that way and you risk a swamped editor just moving you to the trash because she doesn`t have the time to think up an angle to pitch to her top editor.
    Basically, my point is: don`t waste the writer/editor/media professional`s time with another irrelevant press release.
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