Is The New York Times Out of Your Reach?

Is The New York Times Out of Your Reach?

How Blogs Provide A Boost As You Climb The Media Mountain Whenever you try to get the word out about a product or service, you want as many eyeballs (and the people attached to them) viewing your message as possible. That’s why I think that, for so many people, traditional print media such as the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times represent the peak of the media mountain in terms of publicity. And, certainly, being quoted in a top-tier publication is an essential goal for anyone seeking to promote themselves or their company. But I think it’s important to remember that other opportunities abound, especially if you’re not well known and trying to establish yourself as someone the big media should listen to. Bloggers, for example, can play a more significant role than you might guess in getting your name circulating and grabbing attention that you could leverage later into more widespread media coverage. To make sure readers keep coming back, blogs need fresh content on a regular basis. But they don’t have a large bullpen of staff writers to match the traditional print publications. So that means there’s an opportunity – and audience – waiting for folks just like you! Hold off hitting the send button just yet, though. Just because bloggers are thirsty for content and you’ve sent them what you consider a masterpiece, doesn’t mean landing an article is a shoo-in. They won’t latch onto just anything that comes traipsing into their email inbox — they have their own quirks and preferences (don’t we all), and understanding those can make an enormous difference between...

Why Press Releases Don’t Work Anymore

And Something That Will… At EMSI, we don’t use conventional press releases to secure media coverage for our clients and we haven’t for nearly 25 years. I realized early on that they just weren’t effective at getting the quality and quantity of publicity we guarantee. So we tried to make it as easy as possible for journalists and talk show hosts to use our content and book our clients as guests. We began writing newsworthy articles in a ready-to-publish format and we crafted talk show segments that we “produced” on paper. It worked! Back then, almost all public relations companies relied on press releases. Today, that’s changing. More marketers are realizing that the standard press release – basically, an announcement that the sender hopes will catch the interest of the media and inspire an article or interview request – just doesn’t work anymore. Why? The traditional media all have websites – 24/7 news outlets that constantly require fresh, new, high-quality content to attract visitors. Online staff trying to “feed the beast” are far more likely to post a well-written, newsworthy article than an announcement about a company milestone, new product or change in personnel. Newspaper, magazine, TV and talk radio staffs have been dwindling for years. The number of newspaper journalists alone has dropped more than 30 percent since 2000, according to the Pew Research Center. Smaller staffs mean less time for turning conventional press releases into interesting articles and talk show segments. Before the Internet, we relied solely on traditional media to publish or broadcast the news. Conventional press releases were our private plea to them. Today, anyone can...
A Crash Course in Crafting Press Releases

A Crash Course in Crafting Press Releases

People often express confusion about press releases – when to use them and what information to include. They can be a helpful tool, and they’re not difficult to write once you know how. So I thought I’d offer PR Insider readers a little Christmas gift today: tips from a veteran journalist on writing effective press releases. First I should note – at EMSI, we rarely write and distribute traditional press releases. They’re just not effective at getting the quantity and quality of media exposure we seek for our clients. Instead, we write bona fide news articles that can be published as written. They’re a time-saver for busy editors, and that exponentially increases the odds they’ll be published in print and digital newspapers and magazines. Recently, I’ve seen marketing bloggers refer to these types of articles as “the new press release.” I have to laugh, because, apparently, we’ve been writing “the new press release” for 24 years! So, in order to avoid confusion, let me clarify: Today, we’re talking about “the old press release.” This comes in handy for announcing events, milestones and achievements that simply aren’t newsworthy enough for a full-blown article. Some publications regularly publish lists of such brief announcements, so there’s a chance your release will increase exposure for your company or yourself, especially if you’re careful to direct it to the right person. It might also inspire a reporter or editor to file away your name as a possible future source of information, or – jackpot! – to write about you or your business. What essentials should you include in your release? I asked our senior...
NYT Editor’s Tips for Publishing Your Op-Ed

NYT Editor’s Tips for Publishing Your Op-Ed

Did you know that New York Times news assistants read every single op-ed piece submitted to its website by readers? That’s amazing – they must get hundreds every day! I learned that and so much more from an article published recently by the paper’s op-ed editor, Trish Hall. She takes readers on a behind-the-scenes tour of how the venerable paper selects opinion pieces for publication. This is valuable information for anyone hoping to gain visibility and credibility, whether you’re a professional, a business owner, an author, or seeking to raise awareness about a cause or issue. If your target audience is national, the New York Times is a publicity jackpot, but it’s certainly not the only publication worth aiming for! Smaller consumer and trade publications, even niche publications relevant to your field, will also help achieve your goals – and they’re easier to access. For small businesses and professionals whose customer bases are geographically limited, it’s even more helpful to be published in local papers and magazines. Trish Hall’s piece offered some great insights into what the Times looks for in op-ed pieces. I also found some excellent tips for op-ed writers published by Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. Between the two, you should find just what you need to put your opinion – and your name – in front of a large audience. From the Times: Most published pieces are 400 to 1,200 words, and that’s usually after they’ve been trimmed during the editing process. “It’s OK if they’re longer when they arrive, but not so long that they’re traumatizing,” Hall writes. Pieces reacting to news events...
Journalists Share 6 Ways You’ll Kill Their Interest

Journalists Share 6 Ways You’ll Kill Their Interest

It’s always nice to receive emails from journalists thanking us for the content we send them. EMSI has a different approach to publicity than most other PR firms – for one thing, we don’t believe in press releases as a primary tool for pitching the media. Hearing from journalists who appreciate our ready-to-publish articles is terrific validation! Some of the emails we get from journalists also include their complaints about other content they receive from people pitching stories. These insights are helpful to anyone trying to get the media’s interest, so I thought I’d share them with you. Below are quotes from some of those emails, along with comments posted online by journalists. I think you’ll find them useful in your efforts to publicize your business, product, book or service. From Lynne, online news website publisher, July 2013 “I need photos on our website. If we don’t get photos, that will often kill the story for us. I don’t really have time to write and make the request. If there is too much lead time, we might pile it up, only to forget about it.” From Kate, newspaper reporter, July 2013 “Sending me a press release that has absolutely no relevance to my newspaper is a waste of my time … If I’m at a localized newspaper, why would I publish anything to do with a person or company on the other side of the country? PRs also need to understand that journalists get hundreds of emails a day – we’re busy interviewing and putting stories together as well as a million other things … we don’t always have...