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Want to make a great first impression with journalists? Do your homework.

November 19, 2012 By: Pamela - No Comments

Before you write your first press release or contact your first journalist, do an in-depth analysis of the publications you want to get listed in. Who is their target market? Who reads/consumes their content? What is the angle of their magazine? Are they cutting-edge or do they prefer traditional content? Are they liberal or conservative? Do they give preferences to green companies?

Once you have a story in mind, do your homework. Analyzing publications to determine their readership base and angle should be your first step. In doing this, you can weed out the publications whose target audience and/or angle least matches up with the story you want to run. Further, analyzing publications in this manner ensures that the contacts you establish will be of use to you in the future. They may not publish you the first time you make a request, but at least you will know your relationship building efforts have not been wasted. In addition, building a good working relationship with reporters & journalists may result in them taking the initiative to contact you for potential articles they have in mind.

And if your reporter friend doesn’t accept your story at first, don’t throw the relationship away because it did not work out. If they don’t flat out reject you, it may be because the approach you took on the story wasn’t a proper fit. This does not mean you have to abandon the story, it simply means you need to tweak it a little bit so that it fits their audience and their angle better.

Ensure that you’re working with the correct publication first and determine if what you have to offer the publication target audience is newsworthy. Once that has been taken care of, then you can begin to craft the press release.

I’ll be covering how to write an effective, eye-catching press release in the next post.