What makes your story newsworthy (and profitable)?

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News release
How do you get attention for your news releases and publicity messages? Here are some suggestions.

These days, especially in certain US markets, my email in-basket receives several news releases each day. Businesses and public relations agencies hope their stories will be published in the magazines or weekly eletters.

I use some, trash many, and send the remainder to the advertising sales team for follow-up.

What distinguishes where I would file your announcement?

Trash pile

  • The release is badly written;
  • I’ve covered it before (sometimes many times);
  • It relates to a product/service/event of little relevance or interest to our readers;
  • I’ve received an overabundance of news releases relating to the market area, and simply don’t find it that interesting; or
  • There have been too many news releases from the same source in recent times.

Sent to advertising team

  • News release is overtly self-promotional with obvious commercial value to be published;
  • I think the publicity would be of real value to the advertiser, but it isn’t overwhelmingly interesting non-commercially;
  • There have been too many news releases from the same sources in recent times.

Sent to be published

  • News release is well written and tells a truly interesting story and has really good graphics/image;
  • Release relates to a project/opportunity of immediate and future relevance to readers (that is, it is a new project/opportunity or possibly a ground-breaking rather than a “project completed” story (unless the project completion is of relevance to the AEC community);
  • I’m sucking for content on deadline (materials that would be borderline otherwise can be used when there is a shortage at my end);
  • The story is from an advertiser; or recommended by the advertising sales team. (We’ll bend our editorial integrity like pretzels when it comes to our own business self-interest.)

As you can see, there are many elements in determining which news — and these are often subjective and sometimes quite self-serving. Paradoxically, if you try too hard to push your news release from one category to another, you’ll probably fail. Phone calls, repeated emails, and pushy communications indicate that the release should be moved to either the trash pile, or it should go to the advertising sales team for follow-up. A soft-key approach, with recognition and thoughtfulness of the true relevance of the topic and material to our readers, will more likely result in success.

These are our rules. I expect variations of the same concepts apply for other publishers.

I welcome your news releases and announcements. You can email them to buckshon@constructionmarketingideas.com. However, re-read the guidelines above before you send anything, if you want it to be published.

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