Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sample Press Release -- third in series

As promised yesterday, here is the sample press release from Sunny, along with a few more tips to help your event get noticed in your local newspaper.

TO: (insert editor's name)


Friends of the Library Host Local Author

Local author Victoria Pitts-Caine will speak on January 15 at the Kings County Library, 401 N. Douty, Hanford. The event begins at 6:30 pm until 8 pm.

Caine is the author of a Christian romance, Alvarado Gold. This is a free event. Refreshments will be provided by Friends of the Library. Books will be available for purchase and a book signing with the author will follow.

This event kicks off the 2009 Local Authors Program conducted by the Kings County Library. The public is invited to enjoy an evening with authors who reflect the rich literary tradition of the San Joaquin Valley.

For more information, contact Gail Lucas at 582-0261 ext. 104, or gail.lucas@kingscountylibrary.org

Keep in mind that this release is typical for getting events posted in a newspaper's Community Events section.

Offer (but don't insist) that you are available for an interview if they have room for a longer piece. Or, create your own piece like Maryann suggested. Write it in 3rd person and try not to be too self-serving. Let the editor know that he or she is free to use your piece if they have room to run it. Don't push a press packet on them or make them feel like they are there to do PR for you.

Ask about deadlines. I have papers that want info 3 weeks in advance, some only a week.

Always act as if the media people are doing you a huge favor--because they are. At the very least, send them a thank you note. Some of them might even appreciate a copy of your book as a thank-you.

My info always makes it into the newspapers, TV, and radio. The news people know my name and my credentials. I keep my contacts current by checking every six months to see if there have been staff changes.

I write a nice thank-you note and praise for any article written about me (even if they spell my name wrong). By doing my end of things, and doing it well, they are more than willing to give me publicity for my next project.

Remember: the Information Highway is a two-way street.

Tomorrow, Maryann will be back to share a sample of her press release that garnered longer stories.

Sunny Frazier has been publishing both fiction and nonfiction since 1972. She is a Navy veteran, earned a BA in Journalism, and wrote for a newspaper before joining the Fresno County Sheriff's Department. Her first novel in the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries, Fools Rush In, received the Best Novel Award from Public Safety Writers Association. Where Angels Fear came out in April, 2009. Frazier is a member of the Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime, as well as the Public Safety Writers Association.

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  1. Thanks Sunny. I appreciate the sample, as well as reminders to update your contact list and check deadlines. Great post.

    Straight From Hel

  2. Sunny,

    Thanks for the post. Great info and advice.

  3. I'll be bookmarking this! Thanks, Sunny!


  4. Great information! I appreciate the advce and the sample press release.

  5. Very helpful post, Sunny. And once you get these templates, all the easier.


  6. Don't forget to send it email in publishable form (No weird colors or fonts)! Reporters who have to scan for press releases would rather have one they can cut and paste than have to type up!

  7. Thanks for the helpful example and tips. I've printed the post off for future reference.

  8. Thanks everyone for the comments. Really appreciate you pointing out about sending the release in publishable form, Joyce. Good point that Sunny and I both missed making.

  9. Great ideas.:)
    Thanks for walking us through the steps.

  10. Thanks. This is really helpful and encouraging.

  11. So glad that everyone is finding this series helpful. I know when I was first starting out doing PR I had no clue how to do a press release. I really appreciated a pro helping me along the way.


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice.