Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Too Much News: Making Releases Work for Your Business

A Strategy that Works in Electronic Media

One of the biggest problems I face, as an independent media person trying to reach parents and kids, is lists. For the Science Inside Alcohol Project, my AAAS client, I have been writing news releases tied to time of year and mass distributing them on PR Newswire. They kept hitting the same sites - all dotcoms, although Reuters and are a plus, and impress clients.

This project is developing a curriculum for middle school students, book for parents, events, and partnerships to broadly share all the material.

Yet they pick-ups state that these are assigned as news releases and I wondered about whether anyone actually reads them. Also due to length of duration for any news on the web is it worth the $900-$1200 it is costing me? From a client standpoint yes, they can see I'm trying even though there is not much project news at this point.

Thought I'd share a few of the release headings which did get picked up by several dozen broadcast (I only did the web tracking that came with the service), wire and electronic news sites. Also did special distribution to healthcare sites and blogs which does get pick-up. One discovery I made - if I write the release like a news story, it gets picked up verbatim.

Tying it to Seasonal News

This Holiday Season Teach Your Kids the Science of How Drinking Alcohol Can Hurt Them

It’s Spring Break: How Much Does Heavy Drinking Affect Your Body?

Back to School: Five Ways Parents Can Help Middle School Kids Delay Their First Drink

The release model is pretty straightforward:

Opening paragraph tying info to project and reinforcing timeliness.
Document the trend with data from a couple of reputable groups.
Advice for parents
Quote from AAAS
For more information contact us.

We don't generally get follow-up in the form of interview requests but it does raise us on Google and keep us out there.

The last release, I discovered I could do a web only release that goes to 4800 sites for $295.00. Pick-up was about the same. That helped alot with ROI. I'd be interested in media tools others use and the success they've gotten from them - an ROI analysis is such a thing exists.

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