Do Press Releases work?

Press Release Crossword

As a staff writer for two magazines, I receive a plethora of Press Releases every day.

I can tell you some grab my eye immediately and some I never open. So what is the secret?

First of all let me answer the question: Do Press Releases have value?

The immediate and short answer is “Yes.”

The longer answer is:

  • Press Releases are a great way to shout out an accomplishment
  • Press Releases can open doors for interviews
  • Press Releases can gain you new followers and fans
  • Press Releases offer a way to reach many with one click

So, what is it about these Press Releases that prompt me to open or delete them?

The first thing I watch for is relevance. I write for music magazines, so a press release about a new company opening down the street will not get my attention (unless it is a recording studio or music store).

That is the number one point I’d like to make. If you are considering sending out a Press Release about an award you received for a book, don’t send it to a publication that only specializes in politics (unless your book is about politics). You wouldn’t want to send your press release to a publication that only does music reviews (unless your book is about music.) I’m sure you get the idea.

In my case, if the press release I receive is not about an artist relevant to Texas or Oklahoma, I delete it.

The headline of the press release is the next most important aspect to me. It can make or break the effort. A boring headline won’t prompt me to open it, but an excited, energetic headline will draw me every time. I’ve even opened Press Releases that I knew had no relevance to me just because of the compelling subject title. They made me want to know more. That is probably the single biggest challenge for anyone writing a Press Release.

Here is a formula that might be useful.

Headline Formula

If you can get them to open it, you at least have a 50-50 chance of some follow-up action.

Since my book of short stories, “Two Shorts and a Snort,” won the Grand Prize in the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB 90-day Alpha/Omega Beginning to End Short Story contest, I will be sending out press releases locally and statewide.

Here is my headline for local media:

Local Indie Author wins the Grand Prize in an International Short Story Challenge

And for statewide media:

Texas Indie Author wins the Grand Prize in an International Short Story Challenge

Then, in the body of the ONE page Press Release, I can give more details. To me, the draw in the headline is three things – One that I am a local author, two this was not a local contest and three I am an indie author.

What are your thoughts? Have you sent Press Releases in the past? Did you get any results?  I’ll keep you posted as to my results. I’ve had a good response in the past, getting two newspaper features and a TV appearance.

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In the meantime, if you haven’t yet picked up your copy of “Two Shorts and a Snort,” here is the purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/Two-Shorts-Snort-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B07DY8FSWL/

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Blown Away!

I am astounded to learn that my collection of short stories, “Two Shorts and a Snort” won the GRAND PRIZE in the #RRBC 90-day Alpha/Omega short story writing challenge!!

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Wow! I certainly was not expecting this. I have read a lot of the short stories that were created for the challenge and I have to say that some of them were outstanding. You can see all of them in the RRBC Catalogue.

The first story in my book, “Obsession,” was inspired by a song, “Loving County” by Charlie Robison and Jack Ingram. I posted a link before, but here it is again if you want to listen.

I am grateful, honored and humbled to receive this award.

And, it couldn’t have come at a better time. If you follow my blog, you know that I’ve been trying to get a publisher interested in my latest novel. I had begun to feel like I didn’t have what it takes.

This award gives me much-needed validation. It also gives me the motivation to push forward.

You can pick up your copy of “Two Shorts and a Snort” for 99 cents on Amazon. Just click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/Two-Shorts-Snort-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B07DY8FSWL/

That being said, I’d also like to announce the winners from my last blog post. They are:

Janet Gogerty, John Howell, and Craig Boyack. Watch your mailboxes for “Two Shorts and a Snort.” I sincerely hope you all enjoy the short read. 

Next, I’d like to recognize the 1st Place Runner-up

“Tequila Rose Virginity Blues” by Wendy Jayne is a great short story!

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BLURB:

Tequila Rose may have met the man of her dreams. Unfortunately, she wakes up suffering from alcoholic amnesia and doesn’t remember anything about the night before. Tall, dark, and Jack may be the cure her jaded heart desperately needs, but Tequila’s wary as friends warn her that Jack hangs out with the local drug dealer. Thrust together at a Speed Dating event, their chemistry sizzles, but is Jack after a different kind of fix?

You can read my 5 Star review HERE: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1J5Y7KX7QH80Y/

AND you can pick up a copy for 99 cents while you are there!

A HUGE THANK YOU to the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB for all the amazing benefits offered to authors and for encouragement when we need it the most!

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