Even Babe Ruth struck out - learn from it
Dealing With Rejection
by Raymond “Woody” Woodward K3VSA
So that wonderful press release of yours didn’t get published? The truth is, it happens all the time. There are a variety of factors which can cause your gem to not be used. Some of these factors are beyond your control, and some of them are not. Here are some of the things that you can do.
First, make sure your press releases look professional so that they will be taken seriously. Space constraints preclude an adequate treatment of this topic, but you can perform a Google search on “press release format” or “press release guide,” which will provide you with much information on what a proper press release looks like.
Second, now that you’ve made sure the form of the press release is correct, consider the professionalism of the content as well. Make certain that the grammar and spelling are correct. If you were not an “A” student in English, however, do not despair! You’d be shocked at the number of well known professional writers who struggle with this, too. How do they cope? Well, they have editors who pore over their manuscripts and make corrections where needed. You can do this, too. Find someone in your local radio club who’s an English whiz and have him or her proofread your work before you send it out. Don’t feel sheepish about doing this. Many people who pride themselves on their written language abilities just love being asked to give their stamp of approval to a written document. And I need to point out that being less than perfect with the written language ought not make you feel that you’re a bad PIO. THE IMPORTANT THING IS COMING UP WITH THE IDEAS FOR THE PRESS RELEASES. That’s why you were appointed in the first place!
OK, so now you have an excruciatingly correct press release. Does that guarantee publication? No, because those factors beyond your control may come into play. Keep in mind that there are only a limited number of pages in that newspaper and a limited number of minutes on the television newscast. Potential stories have priorities assigned to them. If your story is not compelling news, it could get bumped. As an example of this, I sent out a press release earlier this year on one of our local club’s Field Day plans. Both our daily and weekly newspapers dispatched reporters and printed extensive articles on it, including photographs. Was this entirely a result of the polished professionalism of my press release? I’d sure like to think so, but a slow news cycle with no major disasters or other events probably had more to do with it.
Even your best work won’t always make the papers, but Babe Ruth didn’t hit a homer every time he came to bat, either. Keep swinging, and you’ll connect sometimes! And when you don’t, keep this in mind: Somebody in the media will read your press release, even if only to decide that there’s no room in the paper for it this time. So there’s that one person whom you’ve educated about Amateur Radio, and that person is in the media, and that media person is a bit more favorably disposed towards us hams now, all because of you . And that’s a good thing, isn’t it?
73 de Woody K3VSA