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How to Write a Media Release
by Ron Mader

ESPAÑOL

No es suficiente poner el huevo, es necesario cacarearlo.(It's not enough to lay an egg. You have to crow about it.)
- Dichos

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Editor's note - A few years ago I paid attention to the fact that most mom and pop tourism operations do not know how to communicate with media. These can be small and large enterprises, but one thing is the same -- media releases defy the imagination. So for those on the learning curve, here is our guide to composing effective media releases as a way to communicate with media pros, including journalists, editors, publishers and guidebook writers. All of these tips have been reviewed with tour operators and media colleagues.

BASIC GUIDELINES

Releases should be short -- no more than a single page.

Professional releases should begin with the most newsworthy item in the top graph.

Explain what is new in three lines or less. The following paragraphs should explain the news. The message should conclude with contact information, including name, email, phone number and web address (URL).

Write in short sentences.

Edit your text! You don't need to seek out a professional copy-editor, but at least get quality feedback from colleagues or friends.

Recycle! Post your media releases in an archive on your website.


DISTRIBUTING A PRESS RELEASE

Send your press release to the appropriate channels:

1) Newspaper tourism sections
2) Radio stations
3) Niche magazines
4) Recommended Forums, Bulletin Boards and Tourism Portals

IMPORTANT -- Don't send everything to everyone. Edit the release for individual needs and interests.

WHEN TO DISTRIBUTE A PRESS RELEASE

Before you add a new tour
Before you open a lodge
When you win an award
When you give an award
When you are featured in a prestigious television program
Before a trade show
After a trade show

WHERE TO DISTRIBUTE A PRESS RELEASE

b For Immediate Release
b How to write a press release - PR Web
b Travel Daily News
b World Travel Trade News
b Green-travel
b Scoop (New Zealand focus)


PLANETA

Please note that the general policy of Planeta.com is that we prefer NOT to receive media releases. Let us know via posts on Facebook and Twitter. If you're an editor on our wiki, please keep your page up-to-date.


AUTHOR

Ron Mader is the responsible travel correspondent for Transitions Abroad and host of the award-winning Planeta.com website.


FEATURES

g Rules for Writing Travel Copy - Michael Kaye


WORKSHEETS

g Worksheet: Storytelling Now
g Worksheet: Contando Historias
g Worksheet: Erzähle deine Geschichte – Jetzt!

EXAMPLES: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

b 2007 Colibri Award - For Immediate Release

EXAMPLES: PR WEB

b Francisco Verástegui Wins 2007 Colibri Ecotourism Award - eMedia Wire
b Planeta.com Holds Online Auction for Copper Canyon Vacation - PR Web
b Planeta.com Launches Australia Update Focusing on Ecotourism and Aboriginal Tourism - Ewire
b Emerging Industry Forum Recommends Donors Take Market-Based Approach to Ecotourism Development - PR Web
b Canyon Travel Offers First Class Train Travel with Open Deck - PR Web
b Black Sheep Inn Wins Award - PR Web

EXAMPLES: GREEN-TRAVEL

b Colibris' Cooperative - Green-travel
b Tropic: Journeys in Nature - Green-travel


A FEW WORDS ABOUT PUBLISHERS

The best way of contacting publishers is to send both an email and a print letter. A personal note works better than a standard media release with most guidebook publishers and authors.

FYI - Many of the authors and editors covering environmental issues and tourism consult the Planeta.com website. Two recommendations. Make sure that any links from our site to yours are working. Also, you are encouraged to participate in the Planeta Forum. Be sure to follow the guidelines.


ABOUT THIS GUIDE

This Planeta guide is part of our professional 'How2' series featuring practical, multi-player tips on press trips, media releases and media kits. We also have suggestions on greening events and improving signage.


PLANETA


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