Yesterday, at Frome’s Discuss & Do festival event, Making it as an Entrepreneur (see other blog post too), there was a small difference of opinion between myself and Rachel Bridge as to whether you need to write a press release before you get in contact with a journalist.
Rachel was the Sunday Times Enterprise editor so she obviously knows how she wants to be approached and what will encourage her to write about your business.
Rachel’s advice was this:
Remember that national journalists get loads of emails a day – so yours has to stand out
Pick one journalist for a publication where you’d like your story to be featured
Think of the exciting story in your business, the quirky angle (eg ‘I work out of a cow shed’ ‘I used to be an accountant and now I’m an acrobat’)
Send them an email with a pithy subject line summing up your story, and one gripping sentence within
Don’t send them a press release – they don’t have time to read it, and they’ll want to write the story themselves.
This is spot on for the nationals who have the resources to devote to researching and writing a story and for whom, an exclusive is paramount.
Local newspapers, on the other hand, have increasingly diminishing resources. In Wiltshire, for instance, until recently The Gazette and Herald, The Wiltshire Times and the Swindon Advertiser were separate papers with their own editors. Nowadays all three papers share an editor with a vastly reduced editorial team.
The knock on effect is that the remaining pressured journalists are often very pleased to receive well written, relevant pieces with a decent photo they can slot into a free space.
See the kind of stuff we’ve got into the press here:
And if you haven’t received your free guide, How to Write a Press Release, written by Agent Pete (former regional newspaper editor, and founder/editor of Wiltshire business news site www.chambernews.biz and hyperlocal news site www.marlboroughnewsonline.co.uk ) sign up to our e-list at
Or email me if you’re already on the list: email@example.com
Now, if working out the story in your business, or coming up with pithy one liners or writing in general isn’t your thing, then you probably need someone to do it for you, like us…