Tips on Press Releases

Tips on Press Releases

Intro by Skip Cohen

The other day we shared some thoughts on becoming your own publicity machine. It takes time and patience, but if you stay on top of it, the rewards can be amazing. It’s all about building relationships while at the same time, sharing newsworthy content.

In today’s post, I wanted to share more insight from Bob Coates’ archives. He’s got some solid tips on things you can do to help create strong top-of-mind awareness with your target audience.

But remember, just sending out press releases, if you’re not directly involved in your community, won’t accomplish anything. Community involvement and relationship building go hand in hand in building your brand awareness!


There are two ways to garner press through a release.

  • One is to send a very short press release that will garner attention and cause the media to want to contact you to write a story. This would be for larger media like national magazines and larger city newspapers. Tougher to get into these media as competition for space is larger and the story has to be of interest to a larger body of people. You need a compelling headline and just enough info to woo the editor to want to do the story. A press release in this form should be no more than one page including contact information and should contain lots of white space for the editor to make notes.
  • The second way is to write a complete story for the media in which you are trying to get published. This must be written in the third person and should have quotes from other people and yourself and be as if someone else wrote the story about you. Why the difference? Smaller local papers and many regional magazines are feeling the pinch and tend to be short staffed. They are in need of well-written content. When an editor is on deadline and has a certain amount of space to fill and he or she is looking at a well-composed article ready to paste into the space… Well, you get the idea.
  • Make sure you send art with your press release along with captions. This could be a photograph of you receiving an award, you know a grip and grin type of image. Or, it could illustrate your press release in some way whether it be images that did well in competition or illustrating some part of your story. Use your imagination! You are a photographer after all. Good art can carry the day in getting you more column inches in the media and attract more attention when your release is printed. Also, include a standard head shot.
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This article was written by
Bob Coates

Bob Coates is a practicing photographer, artist, Panasonic Lumix Luminary and educator. Bob coaches photographers on business, marketing, photography and Photoshop. His diversity as an artist is legendary with experiences in virtually all major specialties. He regularly teaches/presents at many of the major conventions, but also to small groups around the country. Click on his headshot to visit his Successful-Photographer blog.

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