Breaking Daily Newspaper Rules

Getting publicity should be easy. Just buy a book that tells you how to write the standard press release, right?

Well, are you sure you’re sending to the standard newspaper editor?

It’s been a few years since I heard those chilling words. I was working for a local organization promoting an event. In the small town, I happened to bump into the daily paper’s editor outside the office.

I mentioned the event and told him I’d be updating him, if he didn’t mind.

“Did you send a press release?”

Before I could reply, he added:

“I get so many press releases. Most press releases disgust me. They aren’t news. They’re nothing but SELL, SELL, SELL!

I paused. The editor’s blood pressure lowered, as did his voice. Human again, we continued to chat.

Forever after, I never sent the traditionally-formatted FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE one-pager to him. An informal e-mail made him happiest, bringing in-print results.

Yes, it’s good to learn the rules of any game. That way, you’ll know which rules may need to be bent or broken from time to time.

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