If you intend to get the eye of the press, you've to believe such as the press.
In the 20+ years I've been in public areas relations, one of the very difficult elements of the game to instruct clients is that the press is not really a service organization whose sole purpose would be to cover what PR people pitch them. Their business design is straightforward; they exist to see and entertain their readers, to allow them to grow their subscriber base and sell advertising against those numbers.
So, if you intend to take part in the "press game" it is vital to acknowledge what wins the press loyal readers and increases their circulation...and then make them to do it! Step one is to have together a power-packed pitch. Based on the Associated Press Stylebook the preferred term for a press release isn't press release; it's NEWS release. In the end, it's not called a press-paper - it's called a NEWSpaper. Like it or not, public relations people don't get to determine what the news headlines is. Only news professionals get to accomplish this once they choose what to create, print or air.
So, just because your company opened a fresh store in Cincinnati, doesn't allow it to be NEWS. However, there may very well be considered a nugget of newsworthiness as you are able to offer around the press to be able to have them thinking about the opening of one's store.
Where do you find those nuggets? Here are a few suggestions to help you mine the news headlines gold in all your announcements:
Read Your Local Newspapers -You can't find a news hook until you know what the news headlines of the day actually is. And, since it changes every day, you will need to remain on top of the news (or hire an agency to do that function for you, and trust their judgment once they advise you of potential news hooks).
Determine How Your Story is Relevant - This is the lowest hanging fruit in the news headlines hook orchard trend press news. Look for anything in your organization that is relevant to news taking devote your community or nationally. If you're opening a fresh bicycle shop in Los Angeles, then do some news searches to see what reporters have already been currently talking about the area.
Say you find that the location is economically depressed, in which case you are able to pitch to the press the proven fact that a fresh retailer opening there is a boost to the local economy, and that you're ready to have a chance on success in that community. Or you could find that bicycle ridership has increased nationally by 10 percent over the last year, with new riders indicating they've started since they're hoping to get fit. You can now pitch the local press on the angle that the new shop is directed at capitalizing on this national trend.
This strategy is called "localizing" a national story, which every newspaper and TV producer loves. Because it's a national story, they are going to report it anyway, but they'd prefer to have a local hook to allow them to be more relevant to the local audience.
Develop Stories That Have a Beginning, Middle and End - Make sure you tell reporters the full story. Let's use the bicycle shop as an example. Opening a bicycle shop might not be much of a story by itself, but what's the story behind the story? Did the owners overcome any unusual obstacles in fulfilling the dream of opening their store? Was the owner ever a competitive bicyclist? Have the owners used their understanding of the activity or inventory to help any children's charities or causes? Are they active inside their community? Identify the story behind the story, and you'll have a lot of opportunities to discover a news hook that's relevant.
Take Action - There is reasons why so many commercial enterprises and not-for-profit charities and community organizations partner up for special events - it's a win-win situation for everyone. It's essential for every commercial enterprise to be a good citizen and use some of their resources to help others, and in addition it helps to create sometimes un-newsworthy events relevant. Opening a bicycle shop isn't a big deal, but holding a great opening event for a nearby children's charity makes the opening more relevant. If the owners use the event to help raise money and donate excess inventory to needy children, it is both a suitable venture and a truly heartwarming feel-good story worthy of news coverage.
Helping people must be its reward, needless to say, but that's also why newspapers and charities love these events. It not merely gives editors and TV crews something joyful and happy to report, but it also enables the charities to have their messages out to the city at large. Your business improves its public image, and deservedly so, so long as the help is genuine and comes not from the pocketbook, but from the heart.
By the end of the day, all of the time you can find news hooks in even the absolute most mundane of news releases. The important thing thing to remember is that the focus of the release isn't to market, sell, sell - it's to convince a reporter that you've news to report and that their readers could be informed or entertained by that which you have to share with them.