The “Swiss Cheese” Press Release: How to Act Quickly When News Breaks Part 2
Congratulations! You’ve created a “Swiss Cheese” press release and are one step closer to being a go-to resource for the media when news breaks. So what’s next? The following are some additional tips to help you distribute the release when the time comes.
- Identify your key media contacts. In order to move as quickly as possible, you should have your media outlets and contacts predetermined so you know exactly who you are going reach out to.
- Breaking news contacts may be different than who you typically pitch. For TV, you’ll want to reach out to assignment desk managers hard as well as any producers or reporters you have established relationships with. Morning shows typically book out 2-3 weeks in advance so these usually aren’t the best contacts to go to with breaking news. For print, you’ll want to reach out to any beat reporters that cover business or finance. You likely want to avoid reaching out to any feature reporters since they typically don’t turn content as quickly. You should hit any assignment desk contacts you have for print outlets as well.
- Act fast! When you turn on FOX Business or CNBC and you hear the market is down “x” amount of points – you should instantly think: “time to send out that release!” It should go out that same day and ideally, within a few hours of the news breaking. Assignment desks will begin working immediately to find their sources so the quicker you act, the better your chances. If you’re concerned about having the time or availability to do this, it may be beneficial to have a designated person in your office that is in charge of distributing your release.
- Personalize your email. Don’t just send the release – include a 3-4-sentence introduction explaining why you are reaching out. Explain that you are an advisor in the area that could provide insight on the breaking news. Let them know when you are available and how to best contact you to set up an interview.
- Conduct follow-ups. After distributing the release, wait an hour or so and then make follow up calls. Breaking news days are hectic in newsrooms so emails can get lost in the mix.
Proactively planning for breaking news is a great way to become a trusted go-to media resource. Being readily available and providing valuable information at a crucial time will only help increase your odds at developing lasting relationships with the media and a “Swiss Cheese” release provides you with an efficient and effective way to do this. Happy pitching!