The first thing I do in the morning is look for my clients as I read the newspapers. I always find them.
As you might imagine, the 15 years I spent as a reporter and editor for area newspapers—and the freelance writing I continue to do for them—gives me a sharp edge in terms of public relations success in the Pioneer Valley. I’m very skilled at helping businesses and nonprofits gain recognition in the regional print media, and I often get requests for clients to go on-air as well.
I can work with you whether you’ve written your own release and need help getting it in editors’ hands or whether you need help figuring out what you might possibly promote. (Everyone has something to promote.) I know what news editors are looking for, and I can help you craft press releases that position your news, events, and success stories in a professional and effective way.
My releases are distributed to roughly 50 editors at print, online, television, radio, and cable news organizations, including the Daily Hampshire Gazette, The Republican, and BusinessWest. I make every attempt to engage editors in publishing and airing your news, but I also can never make guarantees. Sending a press release isn’t like buying an ad. It’s not a promise; it’s an informed “maybe.” That’s because there are a dozen moving parts that affect the placement of news on a given day—everything from how much room is available for news to what the weather is like and whether there’s a crime going on, a fire, or an accident.
What I can guarantee you is that I’m the best person to position your news with local media.
Here’s why a press release is a truly cost-effective way to raise awareness: A newspaper advertisement can cost from several hundred to several thousand dollars, and it appears in only one paper, once. A press release is less expensive, and can get picked up in multiple newspapers, and bring the television cameras around as well.
There are many good reasons to send a press release. Here are a few of them:
Hosting quality, informational events are oftentimes the best way to draw attention to your business or organization with a press release. Bring in a speaker. Offer a how-to presentation. Demonstrate a product and show the problem it can solve. Then, have me write a press release to draw attention to the event itself, and the work you do in general.
Because I know how helpful events can be in raising awareness month after month, I also help clients brainstorm and plan their monthly events to bring foot traffic and attention to their organizations on a regular basis. And of course, I promote their events with press releases.
For clients who like to write their own press releases and do a good job of it. I edit their release to make it consistent with news style and check for spelling and grammar issues. Then I distribute the release to my contact list.
Typically a news item—about a new business, new staff, an award—this type of release requires me to conduct only one interview, with a business owner, for instance, or the executive director of a nonprofit. I write, edit, and distribute the release to my contact list.
These are more comprehensive news stories or a feature story on a nonprofit success story. They require me to conduct at least two interviews to gather information. I write, edit, and distribute the release to my contact list.
This type of release allows in-depth storytelling on organizational successes, such as stories that show community transformation through a program or service. For a Tier Four release, I conduct up to four interviews. I write, edit, and distribute the release to my contact list, and will also pitch the story to appropriate media.
Oh, and by the way, I can also help you get your business noticed in the Springfield Republican newspaper, free. I compile and edit a weekly column in the Republican’s Business tabloid called Voices of the Valley. It’s free to take part. All you have to do is be in touch with me.