Many people have excellent stories, but they never get picked up by the media. There are three main reasons for this. Today we’ll look at the first reason. We’ll cover the other two posts.

When you send a reporter a press release, you’re actually doing two things. First, you’re sending him news about your story, trying to interest him in calling you. You do this with the words you put in your release.

Second, and more importantly, you are sending signals to the reporter that let him know whether or not you really know how to play the publicity game.

What signals are you sending and how are you sending them?

Probably the most obvious signal is in the way your press release looks. I don’t mean how it reads. I mean how it looks. Is the page set up the right way? When the reporter looks at your press release, before he even reads one word, does it look right? If it does, the reporter keeps reading. If not, it goes in the trash.

Why such harsh treatment? You may have a *very* exciting story. Is it really fair that because you didn’t lay out your press release the right way that it should be trashed?

Yes!

Reporters get dozens if not hundreds of press releases every day. Plenty of these releases have exciting stories. So the reporter can pick and choose which ones he wants to follow up on.

If you didn’t know enough about press releases and publicity to lay out the release correctly, the reporter is going to assume there’s a lot more about publicity you don’t know. For example, how to do an interview.

So, the reporter scraps your release and moves on to the next one that is laid out correctly. That may not be as exciting a story as yours. But the person writing it has sent clear signals to the reporter that he knows how to play the game.

Reporters don’t have time to teach you how the publicity game is played. That’s up to you (and me). Once you learn how to play the game – which includes how to write and lay out a press release, bio sheet and q&a sheet, how to answer the “quiz” questions the reporters will ask you when they first call you, how to book your interview with him and how to do the interview – reporters from around the world will be thrilled to give you all the publicity you can handle.

Until you take the time to learn the rules of the game, no reporter is going to waste his time coaching you through the process. (That’s my job!)

So, the first reason your press release may be trashed is that it didn’t look right and you sent signals to the reporter that you don’t know how to play the publicity game. It’s a game that’s easy to learn and one that can bring you fame and fortune so far beyond anything you could imagine, you’ll wonder why you didn’t learn it sooner.

That’s it for post. Next time I’ll talk about another reason press releases are trashed.

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