Your News Releases Need Work: Emailing Bad News Releases

After receiving a tweet from a friend asking for news release help last week, followed by was seemed like an entire day of emptying my email inbox of bad news releases, I figure it was time I took another shot and explaining the art of getting your release at least looked at, and hopefully used.

For a head start, check out my past post which
explains the 7 pieces of media that should be included in your basic media kit
.

I want to attack the problems I dealt with yesterday:

Assume We Don’t Have The Latest & Greatest: Last Friday, I learned that according to Forrester Research, 60 percent of companies use Internet Explorer 6 as their default browser. That was the day I stopped whining to my IT folks about why we were using the old & busted browser of the past. Today I plead to all the PR folks to sent thinks out in the future. Web pages with lots of flash widget and browser optimized settings can not trump a simple webpage with a clean overall look and images set to just enough that it means something. My 5 year old office desktop running Windows 2000 would appreciate it.

Assume We Don’t Have The Latest & Greatest Part 2: As with the case in an office where I am running Windows 2000 for heavy audio editing, we’re also short on licenses for MS Office. ANY version of MS Office, let alone the latest and greatest. Assume that the person on the computer on the other end may be in the same boat, and don’t send them word docs typed on your brand new, shiny Vista computer with converting them down from .docx to .doc. Even better, try .rtf or a .pdf, both which are universal, and for the latter, you don’t have to worry about a change in font shifting the entire press release.

Images Can Ruin Everything: Our web based corporate email system allows every user in the corporation 20MB or storage space, unless you’ve been with the company over 8 years, whet they may be stuck with the old cap of 10MB. Not a serious problem for those who have machines with the MS Office suite and MS Outlook. I don’t have that luxury, and had to dump my email twice yesterday, after receiving an attached .mp3 from a new artist (5MB) and a two press releases from the same person because he forgot to attach a picture to the document (2MB for first email with large corporate logo, 8MB for email with large corporate logo and 7MB hi-res headshot in .docx press release). Sending news releases with links to download media, scaling down large images to travel reasonably through email, or just sending a .pdf would have made life much easier for me, the one you are trying to influence to cover your people and events.

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