If you are in the PR business, you will be able to relate to the following tips when it comes to getting your articles published. It is critical to ensure that before you send any article to an editor or journalist, you need to know the following:
1. The target market of the publication you’re sending the article to: Will it reach your client’s audience? Is it relevant?
2. Editorial deadlines: If at all possible, try not to send editorial on the day of the deadline. The editors are usually not impressed with this since they are under pressure to get their publication to the printers. Know the publishing date too. (This all seems obvious, but is sadly forgotten in many cases)
3. Magazine content: Have you read the latest copy of the magazine? Do you know what content the editor is looking for? This is very important since you don’t want to send a product piece if the magazine doesn’t have a product review page.
4. The editor/ journalist: What copy is the editor looking for? Have you actually spoken to the editor and asked them how they want to receive the copy? (i.e. as an attachment, with or without pics, or in the body of the email) The editor holds the key to your article being published. Establish a relationship with the editor, pick up the phone and call them. (Not on deadline though!)
5. Follow up: If your article was not published, there’s always a valid reason for this. The editor may not have received your email or may have decided to use it in the next month’s issue. At this point, it’s very important not to send an email to them asking, “Why didn’t you use my press release?”. Once again, rather pick up the phone and find out what the reasons are, and how you can ensure that the editor doesn’t miss or delete your emails in future.
6. Read! Take time to read magazines, newspapers, online news portals. Get a sense of what’s out there, what angles you could possibly use and what the trends are. This is a challenge in today’s age of information overload, so try to use Google Reader and other apps like FlipBoard and Zite to get a snapshot overview of what magazines are publishing.
7. Targeted placements: By now, every PR practitioner should know that you don’t send a press release to hundreds of media contacts in one email. You need to send individual emails to each editor or journalist to ensure a one-on-one approach. As the saying goes, “Don’t spray and pray.”
If you can think of other tips and tricks please feel free to share them with me.
May you have successful media campaigns!