Luxury Coach & Transportation

March 2015

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 32 of 109

LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR MARCH 2015 29 press release, you will almost certainly be featured on the news that night. Re- member to stay focused as you tell the world your story about why you attend- ed ILCT. Don't attempt to turn it into a commercial as you won't make it to air. If you can do the interview standing next to one of your vehicles with your building in the background or a logo on the vehicle showing, you can accom- plish advertising without sounding like a commercial. If you are sending it to the local newspaper, the city, metro or news editor is the fnal decisionmaker on what makes it to print. But there may be a "beat editor" or "section edi- tor" who handles either business news or local news. Managing and executive editors generally do not get down into the details of compiling daily news cov- erage, but would pass on your release to the right editor. On Air Appearances If you do attract TV news, here are some things to consider: • You will have two to three minutes max. • Much of what you say will be cut if not interesting or relevant. • If you make a mistake, simply start over. It will be edited. • Remember the fve "Ws" and the "H" and know them thoroughly. • State your name, company name and title. • Make it lively and informative. • If you have logo apparel, WEAR IT! • Bright or hot colors are horrible for TV! • Best colors are light blues and neutral colors. • Red is the worst color, especially when contrasted with white or black. • Never wear large stripes. They wreak havoc with the camera. Vertical pat- terns make you look lean, horizontal ones, fat. Here's a little publicity secret: A low- key news report quoting you or featur- ing your company carries far more clout than a paid ad or a blatant marketing piece. From an informational stand- point, readers trust news content in a different way than advertising. If you can get positive exposure in a straight- forward news story, you will have snagged one of the best things in life available for free. — for writing. Also, try to avoid cliches in your re- lease, such as, "We are excited to be present at this international event." Too many press releases talk about being "excited," "proactive," "best" and the "leading limousine provider." Just be de- tailed and clear. No need for hyperbole. Use shorter sentences. NEVER ask to see the release again after the media outlet has edited it. You should be completely comfortable with all the information you've posted public- ly for quotation, attribution and dissemi- nation. The implicit understanding in a release is that all or parts may be used, but you do not control the fnal edit. Sometimes your direct quotes will be paraphrased for space reasons. Deal with it. You should be glad if your "release" becomes a "news story" in some way, on some level. That's a lot better than noth- ing. A good rule to remember: • Press releases: You control the mes- sage sent, not the fnal result, because you are NOT paying for it. • Advertising: You control every aspect, every step of the way, including the fnal result, because you ARE paying for it. Photos No release is complete without digital photo images or an easy web link to them. Photos should be high-resolution, digital, preferably 300 dpi, in a j-peg for- mat. You may send on a USB fash drive or via any number of links to digital pho- to downloading services. Include all rel- evant names, titles, dates, and locations in your caption information. Sending It Off Press releases arrive at media offces by email, fax or postal mail, although that last one better be a follow up to an email. Finding out the recipient is important to determine their preferred method of receiving releases. The local "media" includes your local newspaper, TV and radio news, and other local pub- lications such as community magazines, websites and print or electronic news- letters. The best way to determine who to send releases to is to call them and ask. Radio news is usually decided by the news director of the station. A pro- ducer decides what airs on a TV pro- gram. If TV news decides to use your points that might be contained that are not really necessary to tell the story. An example would be a statement such as, "The company operates nine vehicles and has been in business since 2004." The statement is a copy point but isn't really needed to share your attendance at ILCT. Editors might need to edit your words down to ft an available space. Ease that process by putting the less relevant copy points at the bottom of the page so they can easily be cut with- out affecting the more important copy parts at the beginning of the release. It is okay to make such statements in the press release with the hope they will be part of the story. But if they don't make it to print, you still transmit your message to your community that you at- tended the show with good results for your business. Choosing Your Words Media entities are supported by adver- tising, so they hate giving away free ad- vertising. They will easily see through attempts to use a press release intended for news as advertising. You have to write your press release to refect news about your company while not blatantly promoting your company. In a headline, capitalize every word to grab attention. Don't make statements in your press release such as, "Follow us on Twitter" or "the company frequently has special pricing on Facebook." These statements come off as advertising, and it's a sure way to make an editor throw away your release. The reading or listening audi- ence will want to know who in your company made these statements. After you write your frst paragraph about your attendance, end the paragraph by adding, "said owner John Smith." Throughout the article, you may refer- ence yourself like that, or if appropri- ate, say something such as, "Smith says the training will improve the safety of both chauffeurs and passengers." While it may seem weird to quote yourself, it is standard routine to editors processing the press release. It is best to write your press release using the order of who, what, when, where, why and how. It doesn't have to be in that exact format as long as all the relevant information is included. Use the fve "Ws" and the "H" as a guideline p r e s s r e l e a s e , y o u w i l l a l m o s t c e r t a i n l y b e f e a t u r e d o n t h e n e w s t h a t n i g h t . R e - m e m b e r t o s t a y f o c u s e d a s y o u t e l l t h e w o r l d y o u r s t o r y a b o u t w h y y o u a t t e n d - d I L C T . D o n ' t a t t e m p t t o t u r n i t i n t o o m m e r c i a l a s y o u w o n ' t m a k e i t t o f y o u c a n d o t h e i n t e r v i e w s t a n d i n g o o n e o f y o u r v e h i c l e s w i t h y o u r g i n t h e b a c k g r o u n d o r a l o g o e h i c l e s h o w i n g y o u c a n a c c o m A LOW-KEY NEWS REPORT QUOTING YOU OR FEATURING YOUR COMPANY CARRIES FAR MORE CLOUT THAN A PAID AD OR A BLATANT MARKETING PIECE.

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