Sunday, May 25, 2008

When press releases don't work

As someone who has spent some time editing military newspapers and then worked in the newsroom at a major newspaper, I am amazed at how some public relations departments send news releases that don't even match up with the needs of the publication.

David Meerman Scott, one of the wizards of viral public relations, has written some interesting stuff on news releases sent to him. Somehow, a PR person thinks that Scott is interested in a new dog food because he wrote a book on viral marketing.

I remembered once calling a non-profit agency that sent me a four-page news release every week for an agency that didn't even help the military audience that read my paper. One day, the PR person called and asked if I got her news release. I told her that we did, but that we couldn't use the information because we had limited editorial space.

Now, as someone who has made this call a couple of times, when an editor or reporter tells me they don't use it, I would ask what kind of information that interests them. And, if I had something like that, I would contact them then and only then.

This woman berated my editorial judgement and continued to waste money on news releases. I began to use the envelopes to scribble notes on and the releases to write down phone numbers. At least the paper had some worth to me.

1 comment:

Ramiro said...

I am about to finish Scott's book on the new rules of Marketing PR and that I have been reading for zbout 3weeks.

Excellent book