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Preparing And Sending Out Your Press Materials

There are certain standard formats that media people are used to receiving for different kinds of press announcements. Also, it's important to take into consideration the lead times for the publications or TV/radio stations you are sending material to, so your material arrives before the deadline, and also provides enough time for appropriate follow-up, and perhaps sending duplicate materials, if necessary. Following are descriptions of the type of materials to send to each of the major sources of PR and general lead-time guidelines. (Recognize, though, that there will be variations from city to city and publication to publication; so check local preferences.)

 

Calendar Listings

If you are having an event or giving a talk on a specific date, send a calendar listing to your local newspaper, advertiser, or other local publications and magazines which list activities. This listing should include the title of the event, what the event is about, the date, the time, the location, any phone number to call for information, and if there is any charge. You are more likely to get the event listed, if there is no charge.

Such listings can be sent to general events listings, special weekend listings, or sections which list events of a certain type (such as local business activities). Even if these different calendars are in the same publication, send a calendar description to each events listing separately. In this case, it's usually best to simply direct the listing to the Editor, Calendar (listing the specific type of calendar if this is necessary to distinguish it from another calendar listing), unless the name of the calendar editor is actually listed in the publication.

A sample calendar listing which I used for a party to promote a game which I designed is on the following page. The listing can go by itself; or if you have a flier about the event, you might include this. It may be helpful in leading the calendar editor to run your listing, although it is not necessary.

You may also find that if you send in subsequent list-ings, your event may be more likely to be listed, since you'll get credibility, as long as your event doesn't recur too often. Probably, you can't expect to get a free listing every week or two weeks. But if there are three or four weeks between events or more, that should be fine.

COMMUNITY CALENDAR LISTING
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: October 10,1988

Contact: Bobbi Randolph
Elizabeth Reagh

 


Sponsoring Organization: U.S.-U.S.S.R. Friendship
Society, Changemakers

Topic: A gala party celebrating the growing friendship between the U.S. and Soviet Union and the introduction of GLASNOST: THE GAME OF SOVIET-AMERICAN PEACE AND DIPLOMACY

Title: A Gala Party Celebrating the Introduction ofQlasnost: The Game of Soviet-American
Peace and Diplomacy

Format: A party featuring Russian entertainment, singers, dancers, music, dancing, and a multi-media USSR slide show at the Red Square, a Soviet-theme club. From 9-10 P.M., and afterward you are welcome to stay on for the regular program.

No charge with reservation.

Saturday, November 5—9-10 P.M. for
Qlasnost Party (then stay on for the regular club program)

Red Square
1748 Haight Street (near Cole)
San Francisco

For information and reservations, call (415) 951-8725

Plan to send these listings out each time you want to try for a listing for an event. Don't try to send a group of listings for a series of weeks far in advance.

Generally, for a weekly publication, send out your listing about two weeks to ten days in advance. If it's a monthly publication, note the publication deadline. You will generally need about four to six weeks in this case for a publication printed on newsprint; perhaps a little longer if its published on slick paper—perhaps six to eight weeks for a local city magazine.

To maximize the efficiency of your mailings, check on the deadlines when you call to verify the accuracy of your listings and do any updates. Then, make a note of this on your PR list, so you are sure to get your material out at the optimal time for consideration.

Public Service Announcements on Local Radio or TV
These are like calendar listings, except on radio or TV. The one requirement many radio and TV stations may have in doing these is that the event be not-for-profit or that the group sponsoring it be not for profit. So if you are doing a
paid engagement for a private commercial group, you are unlikely to get a free PR listing. You will normally be expected to pay for a regular commercial air spot.

But if the nature of your presentation or sponsoring group qualifies, then you can try sending a release. Again, no guarantees, but try. To do so, design your PS announce-ment into three standard time slots; if your announcement is read, the announcer or show producer will decide how much time is allowed.

Because timing is so important in radio and TV, be sure to read your announcement aloud, using a normal pace of voice, to make sure the announcement is the time stated for that spot. If in doubt about what's 'normal,' err on the side of reading the spot too slowly, so that your announcement may end up too short rather than too long for the time slot. If the announcement runs too long, it may not be used or your announcement may be cut, with the result that crucial infor-mation might be left out.

The usual time slots are 60 seconds, 50 seconds, or 10 seconds. Add an additional 20-second time slot if you wish. As in the calendar listing, you basically want to say what the event is, what will be happening, where, and how to make arrangements to attend. Also, in the longer spot you can go into more detail, and perhaps add an introductory hook to attract interest, and say a little about who is sponsoring the event. In the shorter spots, you won't have time to do much more than describe what's happening, where, and who to call.

Following are some sample announcements I used for the Qlasnost party. Note also the usual format used to introduce these spots. The head says "Public Service Announcement," notes that it is for immediate release as of a certain date, indicates a kill date (when the announcement will no longer be useful), and includes the name of a contact or contacts, plus a number to call. Sometimes a flier about the event accompanying this PS announcement might be helpful to attract interest and give you backup credibility. But again it's not necessary.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/10/88 KILL DATE: 11/6/88

Contact: Bobbi Randolph
Elizabeth Reagh

 

If you are interested in celebrating the growing friendship between the U.S. and Soviet Union, you're invited to a gala party on Saturday, November 5th, celebrating the introduction of GLASNOST: THE GAME OF SOVIET-AMERICAN PEACE AND DIPLOMACY. The party will be held at the Red Square, a Soviet-theme club, at 1748 Haight Street from 9 to 10 P.M., and then you are welcome to stay on for the regular club program. There is no charge for this party. The event will feature Russian entertainment, singers, dancers, music, dancing, and a multi-media USSR slide show. The QLASNOST game which inspired this event has just been launched by Changemakers, a San Francisco Company devoted to making a change, and the John N. Hansen Company, which is publishing and distributing the game nationally. The celebration on November 5th is being sponsored by Changemakers and the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Friendship Society, a non-profit organization devoted to promoting better U.S.-Soviet relations through education. Also, representatives of the Soviet Consulate in San Francisco will attend this event. For further information and to make reservations, call (415) 951-8725. That's (415) 951-8725.

 

If you are interested in celebrating the growing friendship between the U.S. and Soviet Union, you're invited to a gala party on Saturday, November 5th, celebrating the introduction of
QLASNOST: THE QAME OF SOVIET-AMERICAN PEACE AND DIPLOMACY. The party will be held at the Red Square, a Soviet-theme club, at 1748 Haight Street from 9 to 10 P.M., and then you are welcome to stay on for the regular club program. There is no charge for this party. The event will feature Russian entertainment, singers, dancers, music, dancing, and a multi-media USSR slide show. For further information and to make reservations, call (415) 951-8725. That's (415) 951-8725.

 

A gala party celebrating the introduction of
GLASNOST: THE GAME OF SOVIET-AMERICAN PEACE
AND DIPLOMACY on Saturday, November 5th at the Red Square starting at 9 P.M. For details and reservations, call (415) 951-8725.


Plan to send these out to the stations about two weeks in advance. Address them to the director of public affairs at the radio or TV station you are contacting. In this case, the name of the person isn't necessary. Also, generally, no follow-up is necessary or desired for such announcements. The director of public affairs will use your spots if desired and will take into consideration what other public service announcements he or she has that day or week, as well as the likely interest of your event, in deciding whether to run the announcement or not.


 

 

 

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TITLE: Network Marketing

Network Marketing Category: Network Marketing

Shopping Mall: Network Marketing

Network Marketing Topics: Network Marketing