What you place in your news release can make a real big difference in whether you get publicity or not. Content is king. Copy is everything. You have to create a news release that will meet the media’s needs. Ask any editor! Most news releases end up in the trashcan or recycling bin, because they simply lack the essential elements for publication.
So how do you prepare and transmit an effective news release so that it will actually achieve the publicity results you want? You can minimize the hassle and help yourself to a great news release by using “The 3 I Technique.”
First start by asking yourself a few crucial questions:
1. Who are my customers?
2. What do they read, watch, or listen to, particularly when they get information that motivates them to buy the product or service that you offer?
What you need to do is now go and find and study these media. Specifically, you need to locate the articles that clearly are motivating people to take action. These are your models for success.
What you need to realize is that if you want to be there — you need to produce something that fits within this defined realm of publish-ability. Now ask yourself — “What can you offer to match the readership and editorial interests you’ve identified?”
The answers to these questions establish the information about your business that you need to have ready.
Use the “3 I Technique”
“The 3 I Technique” is actually quite simple. It is a mechanical process that allows you to use the very media you want to be in, mimic what you see, and create the content using your own data and information.
You select the facts you need about yourself based on what you see published about others in the articles you find. The 3 I’s in the “3 I Technique” stand for:
1. Identify a successful story or model.
2. Imitate the structure and content of the success model.
3. Innovate with your own information.
Develop news release copy that you can present to the media you want to be in, whether it is your local newspaper or USA Today. Of course, you can use this technique to write news releases for any individual publication or a target group of publications. You decide which one you are aiming at.
Here’s what you do at each step:
Step 1: Identify a Successful Story or Model
Select your top media or publication, and find an article you wish could be about you. Study it carefully. What you are looking for is an article that is just like what you wish would be written about you. Look at and analyze a few articles. Then settle on one.
Evaluate this article’s writing structure, and glean ideas about what the editors want and publish for their audience. Identify and review the number of words in each article. Identify the number of words per paragraph. Identify the number of sentences per paragraph. Identify the number of paragraphs.
Step 2: Imitate the Structure and Content of the Success Model
Study the article and develop real understanding of the structure and purpose of each sentence and paragraph in your chosen success model. Do this, so that your own article will parallel the outline of the successfully published article. Then start at the headline. If they have a five-word headline, you now write a five-word headline. Then go on to the first sentence, then the second, then the third, and so on.
Understand what each sentence is all about and what the editor is writing, and how he or she is communicating with his or her audience. Now you can write each sentence of your news release and know it is as close to what the editors like and want you to produce.
Step 3: Innovate With Your Own Information
Write the sentences in your news release, one at a time. Match the length, tone, and function of the sentences and paragraphs you see in the article you are using as a model. Bring in information about yourself. Bring in your facts and your news and information. Tell your own stories. Add in the color and personal facts and human interest. .
With these techniques, you come close to matching the editorial interest, the readership interest, and the style of the publication you are using as a model whether it is your local newspaper or USA Today, or whatever publication you are aiming at.
You also create an article that the editor knows has been written just for them. They see and realize that you’ve done your homework. They see that it is really close or even absolutely ready for publication. This makes it very easy for an editor to use as is, with very little revision. You make a very good impression when this happens.
More than anything else, what most editors look for is that tangible physical and human tie in to their local area. What media decision makers want to establish in a local news tie that will carry the day better than anything else is this: People, people, people.
Identify the names and locations of the people who are involved. Provide their phone numbers so that they can be contacted for questions and interviews.
Incorporate Human Interest and Emotion
Tell a story, give a local news angle, hit in the pocket book, teach something not known before, amaze or astound, and make one’s stomach churn, or turn one on. What media people really want turns out to be what most people in America wants — Stimulation!
People want an emotional experience that takes them out of their boring, hum drum lives and temporarily takes them away — transcends their reality. You can boil it all down to one simple formula:
These letters stand for “Dramatic Personal Achievement in the Face of Adversity plus a little Humor.”
If you look at almost every media around you, from the front page of USA Today to the evening news to the sitcoms on TV, you’ll see this is what the American public wants, desires, and craves.
This is what the media seeks to provide. This is what works. And this is what you need to provide if you want to get publicity.
The Call to Action
At the top, you place the words “News Release” or “For Immediate Release.” Below that, you place the word “Contact” and add the name and phone number and email of your primary point of contact.
The final thing to add to the news release is something I refer to as “The Call to Action.” This is a special little add-on section that goes below above the contact information. This is a sentence or two that calls out and tells the media exactly what you want them to do with your news release.
Now you can transmit your news release. You can send it to your specific target media and every other media in the similar and related categories of potential interest.
Use the “3 I Technique” to assess the best way to design a news release and adapt your approach to any publication you want to be in or any broadcast show on radio or TV you want to be on. This technique can help give the editors exactly what they want, and they in turn will give you what you want.