By Andrew Neitlich

Answer: The winning press release is…..

By Andrew Neitlich


The above blog asked which press release (one that piggy backed on Katrina by telling story of entrepreneur who is rebuilding his business using my services; one that is plain vanilla about the product: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/9/prweb286170.htm ).

Your posts were insightful; thanks! Personally, as you could tell from blog, I was hoping the Katrina story would be picked up. And it was, with a Reuters story (published) for one and some interest from a Wall Street Journal reporter. Unfortunately, the press focused on the entrepreneur and his struggles, not on my service! Not one local paper/media picked up the story here in Sarasota FL.


Meanwhile, the vanilla release about the service got me some actual customers. It was picked up locally in Sarasota FL publications (local press in smaller markets likes to announce new businesses and services), and response from prospects has been good — especially given a $0 investment.

Here are some lessons from this:

1. First, you never know when a press release will be picked up or by whom. The idea is to keep on trying, with a series of newsworthy articles and tips.

2. Build relations with targeted media. That’s the best way to get your release noticed. In this case, the vanilla product release was picked up by a media outlet where I know the publisher and have had releases picked up before. Build relations carefully, without begging. Contact editors and journalists and tell them in 30 seconds why their readers want to read your story.

3. Targeted markets are best. The publication that picked up my release focuses on technology, new companies, and my local Sarasota market. My “vanilla” release hit on all three of these. The more focused your release, the more you can focus on select media, and build relations with editors and journalists while writing content that will be interesting to their readers.

4. In contrast to #2 and #3, blast emails and faxes don’t work nearly as well as personal contacts, if at all. Editors are jammed with this kind of junk, and it costs you lots of money to use these services.

No trick questions this time, right?

  • drakke


    How long have to dealt with the editor of the Sarasota publication and how many releases did you send to them previously?

  • aneitlich


    The Sarasota publication is called s2report.com (very cool concept by the way). These are the first 2 I submitted for this product. I had submitted releases to the editor for another company previously, and we emailed back and forth based on that. Again, this publication picked up the release about the product in general, but not the other one about the Katrina victim (which makes sense since key player in that story is not Sarasota based).

    This brings up another point: Never nag editors if they don’t print your release or call you for info. Make one pitch and leave it at that or you will be branded a pest. That’s why persistence pays off — in terms of ongoing releases about different stories vs. bothering people over and over about one story.

  • I didn’t post a guess on which release would do better, but I thought to myself that trying to piggy back on the Katrina story was about like betting that you’ll win the lottery. There were (and still are) many human interest stories from that disaster – too many, I think, for your press release to stand out among the crowd. I can’t say I’m terribly surprised that the other one did better for you.

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