The processes to go through in preparing a press release are the same as preparing for a face to face meeting:
• Facts, issues, pros and cons, what else is happening at the time of your release, who is to be quoted/appear, timings, decide which media to go for, what messages do we ‘want back’, what is ‘call to action’
• Draft press release, get quotes agreed and facts checked, alert some key press and talk it through
• Issuing, talking, checking, what else do they need? Delivery of extras including pictures, extra angles, answering questions
• Did it work? How is the relationship for next time?
What will you need in order to get media coverage?
• A one-line top message (newest, oldest, first, last, strangest, david-and-goliath, unique, controversial view...)
• A spokesperson
• You must work to their timetable
The press release
• ‘Read me’ title
• Succinct ‘in a nutshell’ first paragraph
• Promise of visuals or event
• Background information including who you are
• More information
• .....and messages....just like any other communication....
• Check every fact and every name in the release
• Check the photos are okay to use
• What’s NOT there? Get someone else to read it
• Can anyone possibly misunderstand?
• Timing – what else is going on?
• Talk to the journalist if possible
• Deliver, deliver, deliver
• Say thank you
• Remember to make the best of the coverage
....and if it goes beyond the simple?
• Is it really worth it?
• Create a written agreements of what you are prepared to do and not to do.
• Clarity and assertiveness
• Try never to say ‘no comment’
• Call in the professionals