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Why Didn’t My Press Release Get Picked Up?

Upset disappointed young businessman sitting with hands on head

Whether we PR professionals want to come to terms with it or not, the media is not our mouthpiece that will print exactly what we want, when we want it. They are the ultimate gatekeepers who determine the extent of media exposure that will be granted to us or our clients. The sheer volume of press releases that cross their desk each and every day ensures that only a fraction will receive review, and an even fewer number will be published in some capacity.

But don’t despair! Rarely is an ignored press release a direct reflection on your business or your media relations skills. Rather it could be any number of possible circumstances. Take a look:

It wasn’t really news.

The hard truth is that you’re likely to think everything your organization does is newsworthy because, well, it involves you. It can sometimes require taking a step back and role playing a reporter to determine whether or not something is worthy of media attention. Just because it’s not a good fit for the media, doesn’t mean you can’t promote it in other ways. Utilize your website, blog, social media, and newsletter to tell your story.

It was overly promotional.

Be sure to learn the best practices of writing a press release. Your headline can make or break your chances of getting picked-up. If you start off overly promotional, with a heavy focus on your business or brand, this is a huge red flag to a reporter that this isn’t a helpful “news hint,” it’s a PR tactic. As much as a client may want to see their name in the title, explain to them that this isn’t the best media-bait.

You’ve used this angle, again and again.

Is your strategy to, every month, announce the new businesses to whom you’ve sold services or goods? The first time you do this is the best chance you’ll have at gaining media attention. Every press release after that is beating a dead horse, in the eyes of the media. Reserve this angle for a truly noteworthy client, or present your new client information in a unique way. It’s easy for the media to spot a template press release which will quickly get you tossed in the “no” file.

It got stuck in spam.

There are major benefits to using an email platform like Mail Chimp or Constant Contact to send out your press releases. However, they can increase your chances of getting you sent to a spam folder. I’ve had my own clients’ emails skip my inbox and head straight for the spam folder, even after I marked previous messages from the same sender as “not spam.” The bottom line is to track your analytics, as these email platforms allow you to do. If it seems like a low percentage of contacts are opening your email, it may be due to their spam filters.

It was poorly written.

Another hard truth is that your press release may been poorly written to a point that your media contacts couldn’t see the value in the information you were sharing. I again reference the best practices of press releases to ensure you have the greatest advantage of getting picked up. You need to write to the media’s preference, not your own. Learn to embrace AP style!

You relied solely on a “Wire” for distribution.

You are likely familiar with PR wire services such as PRWeb, PR Newswire, and Business Wire. I have yet to have a client truly benefit from any pick-ups received from such services. I believe the value lies in personal contact, not some syndication service. Even if you’re hitting a list of several hundred media contacts, you are far more able to personalize your messaging and track their engagement from traditional email. Don’t waste your time or money!

You gave up too soon.

Finally, and most importantly, you may have just given up too soon. I have yet to receive a single complaint from a member of the media for sending out the same press release twice, each with a unique headline. Sometimes you hit them on a busy news day when they just don’t have the capacity to cover your story. A few days later might be the perfect timing for when they need a story like yours. Try and try and again – but two times is the perfect number. Anything more than that could work against you.

Most importantly, don’t drive yourself crazy over-analyzing the reasons your press release may have been overlooked – and don’t stop trying! Tomorrow is another news day.

Can you empathize with this experience? Join in the conversation by leaving a comment.

 

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Business & Success, Life

 

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Special Post: Re-Living The Wedding Of Our Dreams

It’s not often that I delve too deep into my personal life on my blog, but as many of you may recall I’ve shared several key moments of my engagement and wedding that both took place in 2012. The profound impact these milestones have had on my life was simply too big not to share with you in some way. And so I want to now share with you the full story of my happy ending. The story of how I met Scott, his creative engagement and our fairytale wedding were all beautifully captured by the talented Dream Weddings TV crew and aired live on our NBC affiliate on Sunday, February 10, 2013. Words alone can’t express how grateful we are to our vendors and generous family and friends who all shared a role in making this possible for us. And as for all the creative details and special touches, I’ll let the video tell the story!

Whether you’re also planning a wedding or are just looking for some creative inspiration, please check out these wonderful businesses and individuals who helped to create our beautiful day!

Baldy Beard Brew – Signature beer creation, “The Dirty Shirley”

This nano-brewery is the next big thing to hit beer! Not only do they create a delicious product, they deliver it with a big dose of personality and humor. We had a great time getting to know the Baldy Beard guys as we brewed our own beer for our wedding. And now I’d love to help them reach their dream of opening their own brewery in York, PA–consider supporting their Kick Starter Campaign here! #DrinkWithFriends

CARMINA-CRISTINA Professional Makeup – Bridal makeup

A fabulous friend and an even more fabulous professional makeup artist! Carmina created a wedding look for me that I could have only dreamed of. And with the rain–her expert products and techniques were a day-saver. Her international background and training really shines through her work. I still use her products and techniques almost daily.

Dennis Baker Photography – Engagement and wedding photography

The day’s rain made no easy task of capturing the stunning wedding photos that Dennis did. It takes a truly talented professional to work under such extreme circumstances, organize a wedding party of almost 20 people and keep posed photos to just an hour. Not more than a day after we said “I do” our wedding photos were already uploaded and ready for viewing!

Dream Weddings – Filming and TV production

We feel truly lucky to have had the opportunity to work with the Dream Weddings TV crew. They were just as excited about our love story and our wedding plans as we were and their enthusiasm helped to make the whole planning experience that much more special. Be sure to check out their site where you can watch episodes from all their seasons! Also–a big shout out goes to host Martine Cajas who also runs House of Clarendon, the premiere cakery based in Lancaster, PA

Flowers by JDK – Wedding flowers

The professionals at JDK rose to the challenge of a tight floral budget and a big wedding! All we gave them was a color scheme and described the feel of our wedding and they did the rest to be sure our bouquets, centerpieces and accents were anything but expected or ordinary!

Hess Tent Rentals – Tent and dance floor rentals

When you’re planning an outdoor August wedding, you have to plan for heat and rain (and we experienced both in extremes). This is why we were so lucky to have a huge tent big enough to accommodate “Plan B” and the professionals of Hess Tent Rentals to work with us up to the last minute to see that we were covered–literally.

JoS A. Bank – Groomsmen suits

Among the most common groomsman complaint for a wedding is spending a good amount of money on renting a tux that you’ll never see or get to use again. With the help of a very generous contact at the JoS A. Bank store in State College, PA, we were able to get our groomsmen (and almost every man in our families) a top of the line suit for under the price of a tux rental. It’s worth thinking outside the box here! Though I may not get to wear my wedding dress at any upcoming occasion I can think of, Scott has gotten a ton of use out of his wedding suit in just the past 6 months.

Lavon Films – Wedding videography

Derek and his crew put some major hours into our wedding filming and editing. The pressure of capturing every intimate moment from a wedding is a lot to manage, but they made it look like it’s what they were born to do (and maybe because it is)! Thrown into the midst of tears, rain and last minute changes in plans – they somehow turned this footage into only peaceful and happy memories on film!

MixedUp Productions – Wedding ceremony and reception music

There’s no doubt that music can make or break the mood of any event – and for a wedding the stakes are even higher. Damian from MixedUp Productions rose to the occasion with a perfect blend of music to match our ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and dancing late into the night. Owner, Mike Miller also made a guest appearance at the end to add a very personal touch!

Mountz Jewelers – Engagement and wedding rings

I won’t deny that when I get a particular vision for what I want, it’s hard to settle for anything else. Lucky for me (and especially Scott) we had the perfect hometown jeweler to meet our every request. From a custom built engagement ring where Scott got to hand-select the diamond, to a one-of-a-kind wedding band designed to perfectly match it’s unique shape–Mountz provided our sparkle.

Salon Evolve – Bridal hair

You can’t beat the convenience of a salon that’s located within walking distance from your front door. But more than location made this the perfect fit for our wedding party. Owner, Dana met our every (even last minute) request and his stylists quickly and beautifully styled our hair to exact specifications. There was no stress, no drama and more than enough time to even enjoy some wine before the ceremony!

7 Layer Designs – Custom created wedding invitations

Owner, Jess is one talented lady! She had no problem offering me a ton of options for custom-designed wedding invitations that were anything but “out of the box.” I wanted the invites to match our style, our wedding colors and to stay within a tight budget. Jess hand-stamped, cut and folded nearly 200 invites and helped me get them out well before the 6-week time frame (even with wax sealing involved)!

Tara’s Bridal – Wedding dress

My wedding dress buying experience would have been very different had I not been recommended to Tara’s Bridal shop in Camp Hill, PA. They only sell samples and there’s usually just one of each dress, so unique and couture is their specialty. But what really made my first dress stop also my last, was that the prices start as low as $300 – making high-quality wedding dresses extremely accessible for every bride and budget. I don’t want to think about what I would have paid elsewhere for a much lesser dress…

The Harrisburg Senators – Rehearsal dinner reception

As we mentioned in the Dream Wedding video, so much of our wedding was about relationships. Scott’s special relationship with the Harrisburg Senators baseball team allowed us a very unique rehearsal dinner where we rented a suite in the stadium. Guests enjoyed some upscale ballpark food, baseball, fireworks and Scott throwing out the first pitch!

Weddings by JDK – Food, rentals and event coordination

Amanda and Steve with JDK were our heaven-sent helpers who worked tirelessly to create our dream wedding while staying within our very real budget. It helps when your friends are also talented professionals who work for the premiere catering/wedding company in Harrisburg! JDK handled everything from design, event rentals, menu creation and flower coordination to day-of event set-up and all the clean-up afterward. Let’s just say it takes a dedicated army to pull off that type of work!

Weddings by Paul V – Engagement photography

Paul is an extremely talented photographer based in the Harrisburg, PA area. His work is found in a ton of trendy publications and he can also be found snapping shots of downtown night life on the weekends. We were so lucky to have Paul’s talent capture the exact setting of our engagement at 4 different locations along the riverfront of Harrisburg.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Life

 

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