I’d like to hereby recognize Addison Gilbert’s PR Maven Tina Ketchopolos as this year’s GMG favorite Press Release writer.
First off posting all the press releases for the hundreds of community organizations is a ton of work. I do it because I know people appreciate it and I hear from enough of the readership that tell me that if they didn’t read every day’s “Community Stuff” post they wouldn’t know about 3/4 of the things happening around town.
The reason I’m recognizing Tina is for several reasons.
1) When Tina writes a press release she doesn’t make it too wordy, gets right to the who, what, when, where and ends it. I don’t have to go back in and re-edit it. I don’t have to chop out all the extra stuff many PR people add in because somehow they think that people want to read their mission statement on every press release they send out. What many other PR people don’t get but Tina does, is that when you add in all that extra boilerplate at the end of the Press Release and if I included it, readers would recognize it as the same boilerplate that you served them up last week and scroll right past it, not reading what you wrote.
2) When Tina sends me a press release I rarely ever get a follow up email 6 hours later asking for an edit. She gets it done right the first time, every time. I have a list of about 7 different PR people who send things in that I know inevitably as soon as I take the time to edit and schedule their press release for the following day and press the upload button, I will get a follow up email asking me to change things around because they got stuff wrong in the original Press release that they sent. One time doing this OK, no problem but there are certainly the habitual offenders that drive me and I’m sure the Community Event publishers at other newspapers and media outlets- nuts. Posting press releases is not creative work, it is providing a free service. The creative part about making blog content like photography, podcasting and writing is what drives the fun. The editing and re-posting of community press releases is more work like without the pay. So keeping that in mind it’s nice to know you only have to do the work once and not have to go back in and fix someone’s mistakes. With Tina, it’s rare that she asks for a redo.
3) The formatting. Tina always submits her releases in a straightforward format that doesn’t need me to jump through hoops to copy and paste the info she’s trying to get across. If you saw the messes that some PR folk send in that require me to resize and reformat and fond different programs on the web to open up the attachments, you would pull your hair out. Not Tina. Just types it it into an email for an easy-peasy copy and paste making my job of editing it simple.
4)The Thanks. Tina always recognizes and thanks me for posting her stuff. It may seem trivial but when you get press releases from an organization weekly and they just stuff it down your throat, you take the time to edit and post it for them and then they never once acknowledge it with a simple thank you, that gets irritating. I often wonder if I just stopped posting their stuff, would they even notice? Do they really care if it gets posted? It’s just a pet peeve of mine. So thanks Tina, for the thanks
Listen the stuff Tina sends in is no where near the most exciting information posted on these pages. But because the way she submits consistent, easy to post, relevant, correctly edited the first time press releases and then follows up with a nice thank you to let me know that the work I do on my end is appreciated, THAT is why she gets 99% of the stuff she sends me posted in the Community Stuff pages and THAT is why she is being recognized as a truly professional and effective PR person.
I’d hire her in a heart beat.