Having a contact disappear without a trace isn’t necessarily something new. As Gen Z dominated pop culture, the act of vanishing has been given a relatively new definition – ghosting.
Ghosting, also known as the act of getting ghosted, is the process of a personal relationship ending abruptly. Nine times out of ten, all methods of communication are cut off with zero explanation.
Public relations professionals can be ghosted, too. There could be several reasons if you’ve sent out a press release and have yet to see it covered. Instead of waiting by the computer for that certain someone to reach out, with the right tools, you can better the chances of having your press release picked up.
When crafting a press release, ensure that what you’re promoting is newsworthy and informative. If a publication editor feels your press release is more of an opportunity to advertise, it’s unlikely to be published.
Creating a story that informs and piques interest needs to cater to the publication’s audience. Compile your information and take a creative approach that does away with strictly promotional intentions.
With the audience in consideration, ensure that the vocabulary used is reader-friendly. Focus on relevant and exciting language, with a subtle touch of a business point of view. Take product or service promotion, for example. Informing the audience on how it problem-solves or addresses concerns in your industry can make it worth their while.
Consider what makes a story newsworthy.
Remember, journalists receive countless press releases every day. Standing out in a competitive crowd can be a challenging task. Capturing a journalist’s attention with a precise, confident, and clever pitch makes for an enticing press release.
Personalizing your pitch and explaining why your story is relevant to the journalist’s beat or audience is also a good idea.
When looking for stories, journalists prioritize what will resonate with the audience. Put yourself in the shoes of others. Would YOU find this interesting? Does it have an accurate informational element? Is it relevant?
Accuracy is a vital part of writing a press release. Journalists look for well-researched material that is valuable to readers. Especially when including quotes and statistics, always remember to cite your sources. Accuracy is also essential to maintaining a positive reputation.
Ensuring your press release is newsworthy includes answering questions regarding a given stories who, what, when, where, why, and how. A clear and concise summary of the key details helps avoid leaving journalists in the dark.
Research the platform and readership to make your press release more relevant to the audience. What kind of stories do they typically cover? Who is their target audience? What are their interests and concerns? Understanding these factors can help you tailor your press release to meet their needs and interests.
Timeliness is another crucial aspect of assuring that a press release is newsworthy. Is it something happening now, or is it a story that has a long-term impact? Journalists are more likely to cover stories that are current or have a time-sensitive angle.
Write for readability.
Readability is a huge component of press release writing. Not everyone will be familiar with intricate business wording. Keep your press release concise, clear, and easy to read. Keep your sentences short and to the point, avoid jargon or technical language, and use active verbs to make your writing more engaging.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to others, as having another set of eyes is always helpful. Sometimes human error can get in the way, causing grammatical and spelling errors. Online software, such as Grammarly Inc., can help catch these mistakes and improve clarity.
A well-written press release should also be formatted appropriately. Clear, easy-to-read fonts, such as Times New Roman or Arial, double spacing, and one-inch margins, improve readability and professionalism.
Connect with professional peers.
One of the most effective ways to build relationships with journalists is to engage with them on social media. Follow journalists who cover your industry or area of expertise on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and share their articles or comment on their posts. By engaging with journalists on these platforms, you can build a relationship and establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.
Consider what social media sites, among other platforms, benefit your business most. Doing so can indicate where your press releases receive the most engagement without wasting time elsewhere. It can also help from a financial perspective. Rather than spending money on unresponsive sources, save yourself a dollar or put it towards what is working in your favor.
Be open to putting yourself out there. Try to build relationships with journalists by attending industry events and conferences. These events allow you to network with journalists and other professionals while understanding what kinds of stories are trending in your industry.
Maintaining the relationships you build with journalists increases the chances of future media coverage. Keep in touch with journalists who have covered your stories in the past and provide them with updates or new story ideas as they arise.
Patience and persistence.
Journalists receive countless press releases every day, so your story may not be picked up immediately. This doesn’t always mean that a journalist has ghosted you. Be patient, follow up with journalists and editors to confirm they received your press release, and offer additional information or resources to help them develop the story.
Journalists are busy, too, so it’s important to respect their time. Following up is okay, but refrain from being pushy or aggressive. Even in professional relationships, clinginess can be problematic. A simple email or phone call to check in and offer additional information can be enough to keep your story top of mind and increase the chances of it getting covered.
In addition to following up with journalists and editors, consider other ways to get your story in front of their audience. For example, you could pitch your story to bloggers or influencers in your industry or share it on social media and other platforms to increase its visibility.
Journalists may have ghosted your press release for several reasons, but don’t get hung up on what could have been.
Getting ghosted by a journalist doesn’t have to be the end all be all. Writing a press release may take some trial and error, but each opportunity you take to put yourself out there will work in your favor.
Your press release skills will grow from its failed relationships by using newsworthy material to target your audience, practicing effective writing and proper format, and maintaining professional connections.