Dear PR folks… before you send me or other reporters, editors, bloggers your press release(s), answer these questions honestly…
1. Have you ever read anything that the reporter, editor or blogger has written? If so, have they ever written anything about the topic/subject of your press release?
2. Is this breaking news, a really interesting story or something your client wants to tell others and you don’t have the nerve or knowledge or expertise to tell them that this is not newsworthy?
3. Do you know if your client’s competitors have written on this topic ? If so, what angle did they take on it? If not, why not?
4. Is the copy longer than 300-400 words? Can you make it shorter?
5. Are there any typos, grammatical or spelling errors?
6. Have you fact-checked all statistics and confirmed quotes?
7. Do you know how the reporter, editor or blogger prefers to be pitched? Are you following their preferences?
8. Have you personalized the story/pitch to each reporter, editor or blogger?
9. Do you follow the reporter, editor or blogger on Twitter and know what they like to discuss so you can pitch them intelligently?
10. Is your pitch a sales pitch, advertising or news? Do you know the difference?
11. Is the reporter, editor or blogger male or female? Does that matter in how you approach them?
12. Have you included a phone number with your pitch in case the reporter, editor or blogger wants to talk to you?
13. Are you sending attachments with the press release?
14. Do you follow-up with the press release with numerous emails and phone calls?
15. Are the links accessible without having to register or subscribe to a website?
16. How is your timing? Do you know the reporter, editor or blogger’s deadline?
17. Does your press release/pitch have an intriguing title/subject matter ?
18. Can you sum up the pitch/story message in ONE sentence/ or 30 seconds?
19. Is your message controversial, timely and/or a different take on a subject and adds to the topic/subject?
20. What is your client’s expertise about this topic?