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What is a media release?

by Tash Hughes of Word Constructions (www.wordconstructions.com.au

 Whether youíve heard of it as a media release, press release or news release, the chances are that if you are in business, you have heard of media releases and even considered using one.

 The catch is that the term media release is used a lot but isnít really well understood by many people.

 So, what is a media release for?

 A media release is like a short newspaper article. You send it to media outlets to gain their interest and, if all goes well, they will then publish a story about you.

 Sometimes the journalist will hardly do anything except copy the media release; often they just use it as a base to start their article from.

There are no guarantees that a media release will result in a news story. Even the best media releases were ignored on the day the tsunami hit Asia or whenever we win Gold medals at the Commonwealth/Olympic Games; likewise, weaker media releases may be picked up if it is a quiet news day.

 What goes into a media release?

The person reading your media release will be looking for stories that will interest their readers/viewers/listeners. The average person isnít too interested that Mary Ng owns a business and doesnít want to read a newspaper full of business profiles.

An effective media release tells a story that will interest a number of people. So if Mary is the first Australian woman to win the Whatsit Award or finds a cure for hayfever, she can send out a media release to many media outlets.

The type of story will vary depending on the media outlet you are approaching. For example, national papers wonít be interested in your business hiring new staff or building new premises, unless you are running a blue chip company like BHP or Ford, but your local paper and radio station may be.

Media releases need to be about the story and just enough relevant information for the story to work. The release isnít the place to list all the benefits of the business.

How do I get a media release?

There are no rules stopping you writing your own media release. However, unless you write well and know the basics of putting a release together, itís unlikely you will get the desired results.

You can have a release written for you by a writer or a PR person. This will give you a professional result, and they should advice you on whether your story has merit as a media release in the first place.

What do I do with a media release?

You can send a media release to any and every media outlet you consider to be relevant. You can do this yourself, via companies that specialise in sending media releases or via a PR company, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each.

As well as sending your media release to media outlets, you can also use it in other ways to promote your business. Some examples are:

        Add it as an article in your own newsletter

        Add it to your website for site visitors to read

        Send it to prospective clients who ask for additional information

        Send it to complementary businesses for their information or newsletter use

        Use it as part of an information pack for joint venture partners, shareholders, organisations you belong to and other interested parties

        Send it out to your clients or newsletter subscribers as a means of keeping in touch with them

   

Tash Hughes is a professional and skilled business writer who makes technical and otherwise boring information accessible for everyone a business needs to communicate with. Next time you need a media release, webcopy, articles, newsletters, reports or any other business document, visit www.wordconstructions.com.au to see how Tash and her team can help your business succeed.

This article is available for free use on your web site or in your newsletter.

It must be acknowledged as written by Tash Hughes of www.wordconstructions.com.au and copyright remains the property of Tash Hughes.

Please notify us of your use of this article or to request information on commissioned articles.

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