Tourism Australia has just launched a new guide to getting publicity, called ‘Making a Splash – How to work with the media’.
I recommend downloading a copy, which you can find on TA’s Industry Resources page.
There is just one piece of advice in this long and useful document that I would disagree with. The guide recommends that, after sending your press release to your media contact list, you should “follow up with the journalist to ensure that they have received it”.
In my experience as a travel journalist, this is a no-no.
While it’s important to follow up with an email or phone call, it isn’t enough to just ask the journalist if they have received your press release.
It is irritating for a busy journalist to receive such calls and will put them offside right at the start.
Much better to call with something that will add value to your press release. Invite them on a tour, offer them some fabulous photographs (and I mean fabulous – they need to be professional, sharp, lively and absolutely to the point), or if you’re promoting a book or products, offer to send a review copy or samples, perhaps some reader giveaways too.
These are things that are worth the journalist’s time. Reassuring you that their email inbox is working – this is a waste of their time.
But this is just one point in a very useful document. Along with guidance on writing and distributing press releases, it includes information on TA’s Visiting Journalist Program – definitely worth getting involved in – and their Global News Bureau. Make sure that all your newsworthy information gets submitted to give you the best chance of exposure.
Our 7 Steps to Creating a Press Release Message for the Media might also be a useful resource for those of you wanting to go down the publicity route.