With competition in the business arena reaching record highs due to the recession, it is becoming more difficult than ever for business owners to have news releases picked up and promoted by the media. A large percentage of releases submitted to editors and journalists never pass the submission box. To beat the odds, you must create a submission that jumps off the page and opens doors. Here are a few areas to avoid, to ensure a step in the right direction.

Late Releases are Unacceptable

Ensure submmissions reach the appopriate business contact in a timely manner. Do your reseach. The technological contact doesn’t want to receive information pertaining to new recipes. Use first class mail, so that invalid addresses provided on an envelope can be returned to you, and allow adequate time for corrections. Your goal is to ensure information reaches the appropriate destination early, every time.

Incomplete Contact Informaion is Unacceptable

Once information has been submitted, contact information must be correctly submitted at the same time. Telephone numbers, email addresses, correct name spellings…must be up to date so that nothing prevents a business connection from occuring. If clarification on how to proceed through an answering system needs to be made available, provide it. One doesn’t want anything to prevent a reporter from having the opportunity to complete an interview.

Don’t Harrass the Reporters

Time is limited for many, but reporters, editors, journalists…work on a tight schedule. Submit information in complete detail, and avoid repeat calling. If complete information is provided along with how to reach you that will prove to be sufficient. If the project has been made to appear interesting a return call can occur sooner rather than later.

Don’t Delay Returning Calls

Remember eveyone doesn’t work on the same clock, so when a journalist returns calls about a media release, their call needs to be returned soon. This doesn’t mean days later, but preferably hours. If something is causing a delay in providing a personal return call, make sure someone else is available to do it (staff, business associate) and handle it in a professional manner. Slow responses can create the image of uninterest, lack of professionalism…and this can potentially cause a media spot to be lost.

Preparation is the key to ensuring a successful media release receives the best shot at obtaining the coverage it deserves. By taking steps to avoid errors that are often made, one can ensure they are on the proper path to success.