Using E-Mail To Get News Coverage
Welcome to the world of Electronic Commerce. It's amazing but true - you can use e-mail to get publicity with the media. Articles can enhance your visibility, name recognition, reputation as an expert, and position in your industry. But there are some tricks of the trade you need to be aware of to effectively use this marketing technique. E-Mail PR is not hard to learn, and the benefits are substantial.
The Golden Rule: Target & Personalize.
Ten years of Internet experience is there are several essential rules that publicists must abide by in submitting e-mail to the media if they are to avoid the wrath of the recipients and maintain their credibility and reputation as a credible PR practitioner.
Here's my "10 Commandments for Sending E-Mail to The Media":
1. Think, think, think before you write. Ask yourself why you are writing, and what are you trying to accomplish by writing. Put yourself in the position of the person reading your message. You are a busy media professional. What would you do upon receiving your message? Publish it or toss it?
2. Target narrowly and carefully. Go for the quality contacts and not the quantity. Don't broadcast a query or news release or announcement to irrelevant media. Understand however that there are still potentially thousands of media who may be proper for your message. With over 30,000 towns and over 290 million people, the country is huge. Pick out your target media carefully, based on the industry or readership of the specific media you are targeting.
3. Study the media you are writing to. Use online media directories. Visit media web sites. Go to USAToday.com and use their search engine. Study the articles and write the way the editors write. Make it easy for them to get interested and use your submittal. Keep your intro paragraph short -- Trim your main message down to one to two sentences that quickly communicate your main point and reason for writing. Place the details or main article below or place it on a link. Do try to get their interest and make a request for more information.
4. Keep the subject and content of your message relevant to your target -- it's got to be newsworthy and timely. It can’t be a request for free advertising. Don't try to sell the media your product or service. The subject should intrigue them enough to read your message. Present and propose problem-solving articles which advocate the benefits or techniques associated with a strategy, technique, product or service. This article is an example.
5. If you are seeking publicity for a product or service, or want to get
6. Tailor the submittal to the media editorial style or content. Go to a
7. Address each e-mail message separately to an individual media target. Use a service that offers mail merge email technology so each message is personalized to an individual. Don't ever send a multiple addresses using the cc or bcc. t's the easiest way to get deleted without being read.
8. Reread, reread, and reread and re-write, re-write, re-write before you click to send.
9. Be brutally honest with yourself, and with your media contacts. Don't make claims about your product or service you can't prove.
10. Follow-up in a timely manner, with precision writing and professionalism.
Remember, there are real people at the receiving end. Your success with the media depends on your respecting the media and being courteous, plus your credibility, reputation and performance.
Good luck and prosper. It is not hard to garner news coverage if you take your time and do a careful job. The benefits can be phenomenal. E-mail is a good way to make the most of limited funds. You can work locally, regionally, or nationally and all you need is a computer with an Internet connection and e-mail.
You can and should use e-mail to get news coverage for your business, but you shouldn't rely on e-mail alone. When used together with conventional PR (mail, paper, phone and fax), you get the maximum effect. Cultivate relationships with media by becoming known as a valuable contributor.
If you give them what their readers want, they give you free publicity.