Too many non profit organizations believe that because they are “helping” the community, they have won more than half the battle when it comes to submitting PR that gets printed. However, that is simply not the case. You may very well be making a major difference in the community, but if you want to see that difference in print, you need to meet at least the following minimum criteria. Here are 4 tips you can use by Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, the top public relations firm in NYC:
1 – Send it to the Right Person
You may have noticed that there are several reporters and editors at that publication you plan to submit to. But which one should you choose? You need to answer that question before you submit your release. The simplest way to get an answer is just to call or go by the office and ask.
2 – Inform, Don’t Advertise
This is huge. Lots of people – and non profits are notorious for this – send in thinly veiled advertisements under the guise of news. Here’s a rule: if you are taking in money, some of which you will be keeping, it is definitely an advert. However, if you are giving it all away, that might fit as a public service. Each publication is different on this issue, so, again, take the time to ask.
3 – Be Clear and Concise
Your release should never be more than a page – ever. In fact, it should more often than not, be considerably less than that. Craft a clear and concise lede, and follow it up with all the pertinent facts.
4 – Provide all the Right Information
Be sure to answer all five “W” questions. Who, what, when, where, and why. Be sure to include the best contact names and numbers for the reporter to follow up with, as well as the information you want published in the article. Keep these separate.
The simple fact is, many press releases get canned because those sending them missed one or more of these simple steps. Don’t be that person. Get it right, and see it published.