Doesn’t this question capture your interest?  It sure captures mine.  And I’ve been giving this question a fair amount of consideration as I prepare to turn the page to 2009.   Right about this time of year, I reflect on the big stories I helped earn for my clients.  Then, I think back to the tools I used to earn the “ink and air” to get a clearer sense of the tactics and strategies that deliver the best results with the greatest ease and impact for all.

What Works Better for Attracting the "Big Ink and Air?"One of my favorite and best clients is Seattle Chocolate Company. When we started working together about a year ago, I asked the client to specify the media placements that would represent the biggest “win” for their company.   Then, I went about the business of inviting that media attention.  Today, some of the “big media wins” are reflected in the company’s online press room in a “as seen in” section.  Among the top placements include O and More magazine — which are fabulous media venues for chocolate loving women across America.

Oh, by the way, the company also earned a fabulous placement in the debut issue of Success magazine and the December issue of Essence.  We also had conversations with reporters from the New York Times and Time magazine this year.   We’ve been thinking big and making some magic happen in the media.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Would it surprise you to learn that I didn’t send a single press release to any of these magazines?  It’s true.  In every case, I responded to a specific media query that I saw on ProfNet or HARO or initiated contact with a media decision maker I read about in Gift List Media. Those services are worth their weight in gold because they identify the decision maker, the contact information, the submission deadline, and exactly the kinds of stories, products, or angles each is pursuing.  Then, it is my task to reply with a fabulous, on target pitch that delivers the goods.   This is an approach that is working quite well.

I read the media queries carefully and make certain to reply to them specifically, powerfully, and with both impact and brevity.  To be of optimal service to the decision maker, I offer active links to images of the company’s beautiful, exquisitely packaged chocolates.  I offer active links to the company’s online press room to make it easy for the decision maker to learn more.  And, I offer engaging quotes that demonstrate personality and insight, while also making clear that my client and her products are the perfect fit for the publication at hand.

Busy editorial decision makers can find everything they are looking for with ease, and that makes it that much more likely that my client will earn their consideration.  And, my client does earn their consideration.

Press releases still have a place in the media relations toolbox.   There is no doubt about that.   In the next few days, I’ll be sharing points of view from publicists from across the nation about how to use a press release to earn quality media results in today’s digital age.   I’ll share a few anecdotes and approaches of my own, as well.

There is no doubt about it.  Earning the “ink and air” can be daunting in today’s digital age because the media are changing so dramatically.  What I know for sure is that no matter how things change, the big idea remains essentially the same.  The best way to earn the “ink and air” is to lead with a great story.

Dan JanalNancy JuettenBe sure to tune in to this Thursday’s 10 a.m. (PST) teleconference about making the most of your press releases with PR Leads Founder Dan Janal and me.  Here is the link to ensure your place on the call.  And, we’ll be recording the call so you can listen in at your 24/7 convenience — provided you sign up.

“See” you on the call.  And invite your publicity seeking business owner friends to join us, too.