Staying connected has become everyone’s goal. We live here too, and are inspired by the stories we’re sharing about the ways you are supporting one another—even while challenged to be apart.
We connect our community online, so we thought we could help by offering you and your organization some tips and tools to stay in “virtual” contact.
Staying connected now means more writing, publishing, sharing, and making sure those folks you support can find you. We’ll send an email each week with an idea for ways to reach out and connect. Stay safe! —The WhatcomTalk Team
Press Releases Still Work, and You Can Send Great Ones!
It can feel odd to write a formal announcement on something that perhaps seems “everyday” to you—and then send it off to a bunch of faceless editors.
Here are two things you should know:
First, you are not bothering the staff of a publication—they do what they do because they love sharing information.
Second, no bit of news is too small as long as the information can impact folks. You never know when your topic might coincide with a feature they are already doing.
There are just two parts to this process:
1. Writing your message.
2. Creating your list of recipients.
The Writing Part
WhatcomTalk Publisher Stacee Sledge has this to say about reading press releases:
“My favorite press releases to receive have compelling headlines that make me want to read more, and then get right to the point; the tried-and-true 5W rule still stands: tell us the who, what, where, when, and why in the opening paragraph.”
Following are pictures of six sections you can duplicate to make a great release.
The Sending Part
Making a distribution list is easier than you might think.
Make a list of all the local places you might read or hear news. Newspapers, magazines, websites, radio—you get the idea. Go to their websites and find the contact information for the editor, or just call and ask where to submit press releases. You can look up the editor’s name in the front of journals and often find their email via web.
Now, add in other groups who send newsletters—they are often looking for content. The Chamber, Whatcom County Tourism, business district groups, your neighborhood association, medical groups, arts groups—whose emails lists are you on and who shares community stories? Also, some of those groups will help with promotion as they pitch bigger stories outside of our community.
Make an email group so you can easily send next time. Go ahead a jot a quick note to editors, they really are people! Paste or attach your press relase (or both). Make sure the link to the photos works.
Send it to yourself to see what they see—but also—now you have the text for your own story. Start a simple news page on your website where you post your own press release content with the most recent at the top. Take the first paragraph and post it on social media. Send an email to your own list. Next week we’ll talk about social, and the week following how to build a newsletter list.
We Can Help
Send press releases to firstname.lastname@example.org, we will happily consider publishing.
Post for free on our Business Info Hub & Calendar tool to share your COVID-related updates on essential services.
Subscribe to our Trending Stories emails to read inspiring stories about your community.