Press Release: First the Press, Then the Release

By , March 3, 2014

I’ve just finished an exhaustive task: distributing a press release for my new audiobook edition of Sacred Coffee: A “Homesteader’s” Paradigm.

You must understand: I worked in radio for 16 years. In that time, I received countless press releases. I rejected the vast majority, contemptuous of the sender’s attempt to get some free publicity. So now, years later, I’m doing exactly the same thing. Of course I feel guilty!I’ve studied up on the process, and realize that the guilt isn’t necessary. putting out a press release is a legitimate outreach activity, and the releases really do provide good news leads for reporters. It’s all in how you write it, the angle that’s presented.

I chose the angle of recording the audiobook here on the “homestead.” After all, Sacred Coffee is pretty much about “do-it-yourself,” so a home-recorded audio edition seems appropriate.

In addition to the generic press release, I wrote variations for certain towns, pointing out my connection to the community. For instance, the version sent to Wrangell media outlets mentioned that I graduated from high school there, and that the recording techniques I used built on my experience as a member of their local station’s original air staff. The version I sent to our local paper and radio station mention where the local stores carrying the book (The Babbling Book and Alaska Rod’s at the moment).

After tweaking, polishing, fretting, and mulling over each and every phrase, I spent yesterday morning emailing the press release around the state, and beyond. Emailing a press release wasn’t an option in my day. This method seems quite new. It beats licking a bunch of envelopes!

Now, I wait and see if anyone takes an interest in what I’ve presented. And, I worry. Our phone coverage disappeared Friday afternoon. The carrier’s tech said it would be back in 48 hours, but as I write, we’re still cut off. Starting the news week with a dead phone doesn’t seem like the right way to start this campaign . . . .

Anyway, I got it done. Then I rewarded myself with a nice, long, hot shower.

If you’d like to read the press release, you’ll find it here.

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