It goes without saying we receive a lot of press releases at Gastronomic SLC. Oh. So Many. Press. Realeases. Coupled that with our other food focused sites, we receive double digits – every day. That can be a lot to wade through as a weary eyed editor. So much so, I’ll be honest, only the very best press releases standout. Most end up in the trash can seconds after email opening.
And that’s not what you want to happen to your carefully crafted masterpiece right? So what’s a budding restaurant to do, to stand out from the jetsam and flotsam? Here are my tips on how to put together a stand out press release, one that will excite the recipient, not have them groaning in pain.
Copy and paste text please
For the love of all that’s **** please make my life as easy and simple as possible. That means providing me your press release in a format where I can quickly copy and paste snippets of information into my article.
You might think PDFs are great, guess what, they’re a pain to work with as a writer. Copy and pasting can be a poor experience, and the formatting can be weird. And please don’t even think about sending your information (say a menu or event listing) over as an image – you’re asking me to re-type your work by hand all over again. Chances are I won’t.
In fact, you don’t even need to attach your information in a release, just put it right there in your email to me. Please please please, make my life easy.
The web is media driven and the restaurant industry is fabulously photo friendly. If you’re in the food and beverage business and don’t have pretty pictures of what you do, you’re in the wrong industry. Stop what you’re doing now.
When you send out your news or release – do so with some great photography. Don’t attach blurry images with tiny 640 pixel resolutions. If the images are massive in terms of file size, upload them to a free website like Dropbox or Flickr and send me a link.
You get bonus points if you link to a variety of image sizes and formats. Again, the easier you make my life, the more chance I am going to take your release and share it with our readers.
It’s all in the detail
Bigger really is better. I want to know as much as is sane about your news item. The people involved, the what, the why, the how and the when. Speaking of sanity…
Sane use of grammar and consistency
When You write a release like THIS YOU NOT only make me angry, but you Kind Of Give Me a CoNiPtion too. Seriously, I’ve received press releases that switch their approach to case sensitive midway not least then decide 3:00 PM is better expressed as 3.00 pm later on. There’s nothing worse than having to rewrite someone else’s lazy approach to style and consistency.
Give me some heads up and breathing room. When it’s September I’m already planning our Thanksgiving pieces. When it’s January I’m always looking at Spring articles. I have a significant advance runway for written work. Surprisingly it just doesn’t fall out of my fingertips days before print.
With that in mind, please send me your information as far in advance as humanly possible. If you send information about your next amazing event two days before the big day – that’s just not enough warning my friend.
Don’t be a stranger
So you’ve written your Magnum opus and now you’ve fired it off into the email ether. Sit back, relax, and enjoy tons of press right? Wrong. How about following up with a phone call, or just a check in email a few days later. I have a spam box, we all do, things do end up there…
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