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.
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.
Send your press release to the appropriate channels:
1) Newspaper tourism sections
2) Radio stations
3) Niche magazines
IMPORTANT — Don’t send everything to everyone. Edit the release for individual needs and interests.
Timing: 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