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WVWriterGirl
11-07-2005, 09:13 PM
Those of you who emailed press releases, what sorts of responses have you gotten, if you've gotten any? I haven't, and I don't get the papers that I sent press releases to, so I don't know if it has been placed in the paper or not.

What should I do by way of follow up? Should I email them? I know it's probably not a good idea to tell them that I'm not subscribed to their paper, but shouldn't I at least ask what the status of the PR is?

Any advice would be helpful. I'm clueless here.

Thanks guys!

September skies
11-07-2005, 09:19 PM
I have been contacted by two of the three newspapers that I submitted to in my immediate area. As to the othe papers - I haven't heard anything.

When I worked at the paper, we would sometimes get calls from people asking if the press release had run - nothing wrong with checking. Call the paper and ask who handles (in our case) the calandar (or whoever types up the small press releases) and then just ask. As long as the person didn't come across pushy or snobby, we had no problem even looking it up for them. (at least, I always did if the call came to me)

WVWriterGirl
11-07-2005, 09:20 PM
Thank you, September!

aka eraser
11-07-2005, 10:23 PM
There's a similarity between bombarding media outlets with press releases and having your mailbox inundated with flyers. I don't know about you, but when I reach in and pull out a handful of flyers, I give them a very quick once-over and discard most of them immediately.

The same fate awaits most press releases, particularly with large, busy media outlets. Large metro dailies, radio stations and tv stations get hundreds every single day, sandwiched in between those Viagra/Stock Market/Pharmeceutical mailings.

Realistically, I think the smaller, local media outlets are the most likely to respond, particularly if you play up the local-boy/girl-makes-good angle. I think you will also increase the odds of someone actually reading to the end of the release if you include the SOS logo at the top of it. It's catchy and should pique interest.

I think if we get a 5-10% response rate we'll be doing very well.

I hope this doesn't sound discouraging. It shouldn't. We're competing against well-oiled, seasoned, and deep-pocketed publicity machines (and the aforementioned bot-generated spa**ers).

Where we can do the most 'damage' I believe, is in utilizing our own personal networks of friends and family, as well as our own sites, newsletters etc. to generate and sustain a buzz. Once folks actually get the book in their hands, read and enjoy it - they'll hop aboard the word-of-mouth express.

Although the raison d'etre for the book was situationally and time sensitive - the book itself is not. Its merits lie between the covers and are timeless.

Don't be disappointed if we don't make a giant, immediate splash. SOS has legs and will be selling for a long time.

ChunkyC
11-07-2005, 10:46 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with Frank. We've only just begun.

This is definitely going to be a case of slow-and-steady winning the race. We had an initial surge of sales when we all jumped out of the gate and bought our copies, now it has slowed to a more realistic pace of around 10-15 books a day. If sales stay at that pace, we will sell between 3,700 and 5,500 books in the first year. That's anywhere from $18,833 to $27,995 raised for charity. That's nothing to sneeze at.

That's if sales stay at that pace. I truly believe that once word of the book starts showing up in newspapers, radio and TV, and the book becomes available through traditional bookstores, the sales are going to begin to climb ... and climb ... and climb ...

I predict that some day in the not-too-distant future we'll look back at Jenna's goal of raising $100,000 and realize that we blasted past that target far faster than we ever thought possible, with no sign of slowing down.

WVWriterGirl
11-07-2005, 11:03 PM
Most of the newspapers I've contacted have been small, hometown papers. There was only one paper that can be considered "big city" that I sent a PR to, and it's not even close to being on par with some of the big papers in say, Lexington KY or Memphis TN or Atlanta. Not even the small time papers have contacted me back, and my mom (who does get one of the small daily papers I sent it to) said she hadn't seen anything in the paper yet.

My question is about those small papers - what do I need to do to jump-start my own community papers and get the word out in my own town?

aka eraser
11-07-2005, 11:18 PM
My question is about those small papers - what do I need to do to jump-start my own community papers and get the word out in my own town?

Walk into the office with a copy of the book and a printed copy of your personalized press release. Ask the receptionist if you could have a minute with the editor. (Don't do this the day before, or the morning of, the day that week's edition goes to press.)

The receptionist will probably ask what you want to see the editor about. Show/tell her/him. I'll lay odds of 5-1 you'll be chatting with the editor, assistant editor, or reporter within minutes.

Good luck. :)

ChunkyC
11-08-2005, 12:39 AM
That's a great suggestion, Frank. Follow up in person if at all possible.

WVWriterGirl
11-08-2005, 08:00 AM
Thanks guys. I'll be doing that as soon as my copies arrive. Most of the papers I've sent PR's to are within comfortable driving distance (read: they won't drain my gas tank). I'll probably be able to do that within the week.