You can put together the most exciting press release in the world, but if you don’t know who to send it to, you’re not going to get anywhere. Investing time in Internet research and making a few phone calls is an essential first step in any PR program.
Here are some basic steps to build your PR distribution list:
Review your advertising list. It’s always best to reach out to people who know you. Spending money automatically creates a relationship. Find out who the editorial contacts are at your advertising venues.
Call your local print publications. Simply dial the general phone number and ask for the newsroom. Then ask whoever answers who you should talk to. If you’re dealing with a decent-size publication, there will be more than one person to talk with. Initially, you’ll get editors, but you also want to find reporters. You’re looking for people who cover shopping, fashion, business, and general local news.
Contact radio and television stations. If you’re talking to a news department, ask for the assignment editor. If you’re dealing with talk shows, you want to speak to the producer or booker.
Tony Seideman is a public relations and marketing consultant who specializes in working with independent jewelers. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (917) 881-4481.