Thursday, 21 June 2012

It's All About The Back Story...

And here is all that but in reading words...

I was invited to take part in an "Ask The Expert" event recently, where business people could ask me about their options when contacting the media. What does a press release look like, how do I spin a story to a journalist, that sort of thing.

I love these events because the questions asked are never the questions that need asking. The question that often needs asking of small businesses attempting PR is "Why are you being so middle class?"

As a journalist I'm going to shut down if someone pitches a product, but if someone pitches themselves as a story I'll listen.

Hundreds of small businesses are being run by brilliant fascinating people who have lived a life, they're merchant bankers who are now plumbers, they're welders who are now photographers, they're people who've taken redundancy and retrained to follow their dreams, they are young people who have been so driven that they want to make their first billion by the time they are 30, they are returning mothers who find they have a god given baking skill.

They are brilliant and articulate and interesting and exciting...

Their product launch bores me to tears... but their back story delights me.

Please small businesses of Britain stop being shy about who you are and what you've done; it's not gauche or self-serving to hang the story of the business on you.

It makes complete financial sense.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

27 tips in 2 Vlogs

Here are lots of tips in exciting Vlog form. The first tells you what journalists love and the second discusses why your story may have been ignored.

All from the face of

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The Perfect Press Release Part 2

When this blog post came through (via @tonywords) I got a bit cross. The original 'research' didn't address the major concern of a busy local multi-media newsroom.

Will it crash my computer?

The attachment / flash-object / animated .gif are enemies of the elderly desktops and servers local media has to deal with.

So what should a press release going to conventional media look like?

1. No attachments.
Don't send pictures to a radio station unless they're requested by the website and then tiny images please. Don't send video to a print outlet, but do tell them it's available.

That includes images in your signature. We know who you are, stop pressing the point.

Lovely as the flyer may be, it's just killed all my other programmes.

4. One screen please.
If you don't put the important bit at the top of the screen then you won't get featured. A newsroom may have 15% fewer staff than last week with a 15% increase in email traffic as everyone tries to get noticed. Journalists don't have time to scroll. If it doesn't engage in the size of a preview panel it gets deleted.

5. Minimal Linking.
As with attachments, if I have to go off to another site then I'm going to be a bit worried that wherever I go will kill everything else. If you need to link to something make it nice and text heavy and NOT a PDF link that will want to download and cause a Blue Screen Of Death.

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