Press Release Tips from the Experts

Pat Shultz .. Lorraine L. Oback .. John Grimm .. Alyce J. Archuleta

"Don't bury the 'lead', get to the point. Whatever it is tell it the first paragraph! Then tell them who you are"

Pat Schultz
Public Relations & Communications
Pat Schultz & Associates
San Francisco CA

"With libraries around the county struggling to stay afloat, it certainly helps to have a passionate belief in the 'product' that you are promoting. That will come through, I think, in anything you do, making it that much more effective. There are two tips that I would like to pass on;

TIP #1
When planning programs or events, if you want attention from the press, you need to throw in an element that involves another, often cultural, organization will have increased chances of success because that organization brings with it a built-in following of its own.

TIP #2
Direct critical press releases to specific people on your publicity list. Establish a personal relationship with key media people in your area and give them a call to alert them whenever you are sending them something you consider especially important. Freelance writers can be your best allies in placing a story so find out who they are, what they like to write about, and how to reach them."

Lorraine L. Oback
Public Relations/Marketing
San Jose Public Library, CA

"Press releases are best when short. Write economically. But provide points for the reporter to expand on. They like angles. Send promptly. When I say promptly, I mean write it before the event, revise right after and fax within minutes. Attach a more lengthy 'fact sheet' with more details, graphs or tables."

John Grimm
Library Information Coordinator
San Bernardino County Public Library
CA, CLA Chair '95
Public Relations and Marketing Round Table
Director at Large, Public Relations Society of America - Inland
Empire Chapter

"If your organization does not have a public relations person who produces all your publicity, try this...For each event, make the person responsible for producing the event also responsible for writing a press release (or for having it written). Designate an administrator in the organization or a member of the executive board to review all news releases for quality and consistency of message before they are sent out to the media."

Alyce J. Archuleta
Volunteer Coordinator
San Diego Public Library, CA

Reprinted from The FOLIO, Fall 1995, ISSN 1080-3963, Friends of California Libraries, =A9 Copyright 1995, all rights reserved. Redistribution of this document is hereby freely granted so long as the document is redistributed in its entirety (here interpreted as all text exclusive of HTML tags); in particular, with attributions and this copyright notice.