The Importance of Press Releases

Adrianne DuMond

In the age of electronic media overwhelming us – web sites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter – it is possible to forget about the importance of the traditional media – newspapers, radio and television. I read the other day that 58% of people get their news from television and 38% read the newspaper (http// There are important reasons to consider promoting your agency with timely press releases and stories to the press.

Reasons for traditional media:  It is more noteworthy to have a press release in a Los Angeles Times or Orange county Register, or any of your top tier newspapers, than to resort to a blog or a twitter for your news. The third party validation is important. But beyond that, there is the opportunity to attract attention to your story or agency from new sources. The blog or Facebook or Twitter often is preaching to the choir – people who already know your story.

Another important factor is that the audience the newspaper or television channel may attract is different. Your serious donors and loyal supporters (many times older) may prefer the newspaper and television and not be ‘trapped’ in the Facebook, Twitter, and blog generation. They probably have the time to consider your worthy cause when it is compellingly presented.

How to get coverage: The best entree into good coverage is to do some homework. 1) Who in your contact area writes about subjects you have? 2) Make contact with a reporter, know his/her area of interest, and compliment him/her on an article you have read. 3) Find a personal interest tie-in to what your agency does, a compelling story from a client, customer, case. 4) Call the reporter and make yourself known, ask how he/she selects stories, and seek advice. Reporters are human and like stories provided to them, sources who value their wisdom, and may become a valued contact for future endeavors.

Where to pitch: We often tend to forget the ethnic media or regional/neighborhood papers that may be looking for a good story. I recently had a story printed first in a neighborhood paper that was picked up by the mainstream press. There is also the option of ‘letters to the editor’. Key audiences like politicians, government executives, and corporate leaders may browse this source when they often don’t read more of the paper.

This is just a reminder that the old, slow way sometimes presents opportunities that may be overlooked in the rush to stay current with modern trends. I am indebted to the media expert, Holly Minch who educated me to this way of thinking when she wrote an article for the website. Thank you, Holly.

Author: Adrianne DuMond, Executive Coaches of Orange County,