A basketball player moves within his shot range, rather than firing a shot from the 90 feet away. Although possible, the odds against him making a half-court or full-court shot are great.
The same holds true for public relations. Too many small business owners shoot for the stars, neglecting the easy media targets. While exposure in USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and Business Week would be great, too many stories are being fed into the funnel for your piece to get into print.
Meanwhile, smaller publications are clamoring for articles focused on local businesses and trends in their communities.
Those shoppers filled with advertisements, small community newspapers and newsletters published by community associations are fertile ground for a well-written press release. Simply put, they are looking for new information to fill a certain number of pages every day, week or month, depending on their publication schedule. Often, they also struggle to fill their website with new stories as well.
Your press release focused on a new business, product or trend is gold to them. Often, they will publish it as written, for the days of a seasoned editor marking it up in red are long gone. For many of these publications, the publisher and editor may be one and the same or two people.
Include a photo of the person who is quoted in the press release and the chances of publication increase even more. Why? Simple: Photographs break up the gray of line after line of newsprint. Also, people are more apt to focus on an article after looking at the photograph.
The easiest way to find these local publications is to look around. Pick up the free papers at the grocery store, the doctor’s office, in pizza shops and elsewhere. Instead of trashing those pesky papers hitting your lawn, open them up to see if there’s a spot for your story.
Although not as exciting to share with family and friends as a quote in the New York Times, having an article published in one of these publications can often lead to something more important: New and renewed business.