I will inform my company/clients that I follow the News Release Guidelines for Marketers as put forth by TOCA. By following the guidelines, I can be better assured that coverage of the company and products I represent will be successful.
1. The news releases I distribute will be newsworthy.
Under TOCA’s News Release Guidelines for Editors, editors are committed to selecting and publishing news releases which contain news “value.” This is the most important element needed for a news release to be published. Avoid sending releases that lack news value because editors may conclude that future releases will also lack news.
2. I will distribute news releases to the appropriate publications.
Understanding the publications and the audiences they write for is critical. Sources, such as Bacon’s Media Directories or the magazine’s sales departments, can provide information about editorial direction. When possible, tailoring news releases specifically for certain magazines may increase publishing success.
3. My media list will be updated frequently to determine current contact information and editor preferences.
Incorrect addresses, e-mails or fax numbers may delay the review of your release or cause its loss altogether. Today, editors prefer to receive news releases in a variety of ways, either by mail, fax or e-mail. Learn those preferences and follow them for each specific editor to be successful.
4. I will not call editors to confirm that a release has been received. I will also not call editors to ask when or if a news release will be published.
Contacting editors about news releases is the biggest complaint editors have against PR practitioners. It is considered acceptable to call editors to pitch story ideas. However, virtually all editors state that they do not have the time to track news releases. In general, editors respond negatively to calls related to news releases.
5. I will not call editors to ask for clips of my published news release.
If a copy of the published news release is needed, contact the magazine’s sales or circulation department. Virtually all editors say they do not have time to send clips.
6. I will never use advertising as a leverage for placement.
To use advertising to “strong arm” editors to publish news releases or other editorials is a serious breech of professional ethics.
TOCA encourages companies to place the following statement on news releases distributed to TOCA editor members: “We follow the TOCA Guidelines for News Releases.”