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Once upon a Runway release

I did a thing.

I’m still wondering exactly how I did a thing I’d previously said I’d never do again but here I am...doing it.

I joined the board of a local theatre and have taken on its publicity!

Yep, I've committed a year to volunteering and during my tenure I hope to develop it's already-darling brand into something protected while also creating tools for continued use long after I'm gone.

My first assignment...write a press release about their newest venture: starting a Panto tradition! So, I thought I’d offer a few down and dirty publicity tricks I put into play for my very first Runway release.

Write an article, not a release. Often, people write press releases in a way that’s meant to get lots of information to reporters who will then follow up, schedule interviews, and research further. This is not how news works for community events. Instead, write an article you’d want to read. Create a great headline, some small anecdotal pull outs and toss in a quote or two. This way the reporter can, essentially, lift your words and publish a finished article with little work. You’ll find you make it to press faster and more often if you do the heavy lifting!

Photos are favored. If you can include a photo in your release you’re one step closer to being a news media darling. Be sure your photo has enough resolution for print or web display and that you include a description of both the activity and the people in the photo. Both are key to inclusion.

Slow news days are your friends. This feels like a no-brainer but don’t release your community news on a "big news" day. Not only will you sometimes seems insensitive if the reigning news is tragic, you’ll also get buried every time. Generally Tuesday through Thursday is the way to go for community news. When I want something to grab a reader’s attention over a leisurely weekend...something for arts organization who is pushing an event...I’ll default to a Thursday while I’ll select Tuesdays for maximum play of business-centered news.

There you have it! Three quick tips for successful press release...releasing.

Oh, you want to know how my first press release for Runway turned out? We were picked up that same day (a Thursday) by two outlets and the following week by one more. We’ve shared these articles through our own channels to increase our reach and are already hearing a community buzz. Huzzah!

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