Author: Abby Berman Cohen, The Rosen Group
It’s always exciting for me to see news from Brewers Association members. A new beer. A fun event. An April Fool’s joke.
I’ve found myself on many breweries’ distribution lists for press releases. Many are really well done—they are well-written, professional, and fun. Some, well let’s just say, I file them in my trash folder because I’m pretty sure they are a virus or are from a Nigerian prince who wants my bank account information.
A little etiquette when reaching out to journalists with your press releases can go a long way. Here are some rules of the road to get the most out of your press release emails.
1. Use a relevant subject line
What is this email about? Make it catchy, but straightforward.
2. Don’t include attachments
In today’s world of cyber hacks and ransom viruses, why make anyone fear what’s in their inbox? Put the text of your release into the body of the email. Make it easy for the recipient by having all the pertinent information easily accessible.
3. Make it personal
Whenever possible, make it seem as though you are sending the press release only to that journalist. Add a professional greeting line and a pitch letter on top of your release. We do this by mail merging our releases via Microsoft Word.
4. Hide your distribution list
If you are blasting your release to a large group, please use the “BCC” function. No one wants to see that they are on a lengthy distribution list. Not only is it annoying, it could have bad ramifications. Journalists may not want to write about the news when they see how many other journalists are receiving the same information. Plus there’s that pesky “Reply All” problem.
5. Be considerate and respectful
If someone asks to be removed from your media lists, please oblige. This will also help ensure your media lists are kept up-to-date and your news is reaching the right people.
6. Target your emails properly
Does someone covering higher education in Nebraska want to hear about a new brewery opening in Oregon? Probably not. Make sure you are appropriately targeting media in your outreach efforts. You’d rather hit a smaller number of the right people than a larger number of the wrong ones. The BA can help by providing you with state and national media lists.
7. Provide a contact
Make sure to include contact information in the email so journalists know how to get in touch.