Kirkpatrick Communications Kirkpatrick Communications
Gaining Free Publicity  

Let's talk publicity in the print world. Many publications get their news from companies who want publicity. It's one of the ways news reporters gather news. Companies send press releases to the publications or call with story ideas. Most editors consider it their job to sift through all of the "news" to determine which is actually newsworthy. Often times the reporter then will do the follow up--more digging--to get a particular slant to the story.

So how do you go about taking advantage of what is basically "free" publicity? Start with a database of publications that cover your industry. Trust that writers, editors, reporters and publishers will change their places of employment often, so update your database frequently.

Then do a little digging yourself. Which reporter for the publication covers the type of news you have? Most reporters will specialize to some degree depending on the size of the publication. Send your news, usually via email, and the reason you believe its newsworthy. It's called a "pitch" in the business. Then follow up with a phone call. Many editors or reporters literally receive hundreds of press releases a week.

Handcraft your email pitch; this may be the only time you have to sell your story. Keep it short, keep it punchy, keep it to the point. Remember to base it on the readership of the publication; will the readers of the pub think your news is interesting?