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C. Paul Luongo's Published Columns

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Update on Press Kits and News Releases

UPDATE ON PRESS KITS AND NEWS RELEASES

PRESS KITS – PRINT, ONLINE or CD?


Online press kits take too much time to review and print.

CDs are easier to use than online kits, but take time to load, click through and print. Many people send printed kits with a CD version enclosed.

Printed kits are still popular and always good, but keep them short and to the point. Plain vanilla will do just fine. Editors and reporters don’t want to buy anything, they simply want to cover what is newsworthy about your company or organization. That should be the focus of your kit’s contents.

If you have the budget, produce kits in all three versions, print, CD and online. That way you’ll reach everyone.

You can’t go wrong asking the media what they prefer and provide them with it.

One Editor’s Comments – “At a trade show, for example, I can pick up 20 printed press kits and go through them in 15-20 minutes to pull out the information I need, toss what I don’t. If I had to go through 20 online kits, I would need several hours. So, I prefer printed kits, although I do like the stuff to be available online, as well, especially if I need to find something I forgot or I didn’t see in my manual review.”

NEWS RELEASES

Content, not graphic appeal is what counts for editors and reporters. And page one is still the important document.

Double space is the standard for traditional news releases; single space for e-mail is easier to work with editing and cut and paste functions.

Get to the point, give the facts, no editorializing. Editors and reporters want news.

Don’t suffer over your text. Reporters and editors are unlikely to use it as is. They will write it in their own style.

Don’t sweat the lead sentence or paragraph, give them the facts and information, they’ll do the rest.


Minimize the use of adjectives, adverbs, and connectives. These “fillers” make your copy longer and interfere with the news.

Avoid hyperbole. Editors and reporters can tell whether your company or product or issue is newsworthy. Exaggeration is a turnoff!

Press releases sent as attachments are universally disliked. They can be hard to open in some cases and sometimes can close down the system.

Don’t use throw-away quotes such as “We are pleased to release our new product” or “We are delighted to welcome Mr. Jones to the management team”. Instead say “Our new product will reduce retail costs, etc.” or “Mr. Jones’s 20 years of experience with Wal-Mart will fuel our launch into the retail market”.


CPL
2006

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