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Promoting Your Work through Press Releases and Conferences

By Shonda Ponder
Posted Friday, October 15, 2004

The, by far, best way to get your information out to the public is by using press releases. Every organization should have a press release page on it's web site, dedicated to only press releases. This is so the media will not have to wade through a bunch of stuff that they can't use in order to do a story on you.

There are several types of press releases that should be utilized by organizations:

There are media advisories. Media Advisories tell the media, basically, where you are going to be at a certain time and date and why you will be there. It also serves to invite the media to a press conference at specific locations and times.

Press conferences are events that are held by organizations specifically with the media in mind. An organization invites the media to attend a gathering, where the PR Representative and the Chairman of that organization, along with other notable active members will attend to answer questions and conduct interviews with the media. When doing this, an organization would do good to have their own sound equipment so that large crowds can hear what they have to say.

A press release can also take the form of an official statement by the chairman of that organization on a specific issue. The statement will be sent to all of the interested media for quote-gathering for stories. Most congressmen use this method regularly.

Another form a press release can take is in the form of an article. An article is basically a news report based on facts that that organization has gathered. When using this method, it is best to leave the organization's personal opinions out of the article.

Press releases, written in article-style, should never use the words we, us, me, my, or our or any other first person pronouns. These pronouns are only suitable in personal statements about issues, or when promoting a press conference by an individual.

Article-style press releases gives the publication enough information that they could, if they so choose, take that specific article from the release and post it in their news section. And, because it is a press release, the publication reserves the right to edit, change any information, or not change any information and still take the credit for the news item -- unless specific instructions are given in the release not to do so. However, remember that when tying a publication's hands with restrictions on your work, you narrow the chances of your organization getting published at all. A press release, after all, is a RELEASE of that information to the public. This means that it is not copyrighted. If you wish to protect your work, do not send it in the form of a press release, and do not add the words "For release" or "to be released" etc. to it.

When sending a press release, the most important part of the release is your contact information. This gives the media someone to call if they decide to pick up the release and do their own investigation and interviews for their own story. If you are a new and upcoming organization, working with the media, not against the media, is important -- and how you approach the media with your information, or how you respond to the media's inquiries will be an important factor in the success of your organization.

When dealing with media calls concerning a press release you have sent out, you must try to remember that it is, after all, the media's job to ask hard questions. They may seem as if they are attacking you, and how you answer their hard questions will determine how much support you can get from them. Do not attack back. Don't throw up your hands in frustration in front of them. Remain calm, smile, and answer the question to the best of your ability, using the best poker face you have. The most important rule to follow is never make them angry. The media can destroy you.

It is acceptable, after a work is published that is contrary to your liking, to send out a follow-up press release in the form of a rebuttal. Utilizing this opportunity for further press conferences can be rewarding. When doing so, try not to say anything out loud that mentions the name of a specific publication that has violated your trust, so the media will not portray you as attacking their competition. You may, however, provide copies of that violation without quotes from you to the media that shows up for the conference, so that they can form their own words to describe what happened. Doing this will ensure that you gain the trust of all those who attend.

About the Author
Shonda Ponder is the editor and owner of the Friends of Liberty web site. Friends of Liberty is a Promotional Media Organization, dedicated to teaching promotional skills to amateurs who are politically active.

Friends of Liberty can be located on the world wide web at ( Shonda Ponder can be contacted at


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