[This article appeared in print in the January 2015 issue of Rug News andDesign Magazine]
At Rug News andDesign we receive a lot of press releases from the home furnishing industry touting all sorts of new home furnishings, new hires, and showroom openings. We have even launched a sister website to feature these announcements, people of the industry, and the events that occur, at RugIndustryNews.com.
In the course of launching this new website we discovered that not all press releases were created equal and would like to share that knowledge with the retailers in the industry.
- We want to feature your news, invitations to showroom openings, announcements of sales, and your newest hires on RugIndustryNews.com. Please send us, and other news outlets, these types of press releases, but include at least a paragraph about why it’s important and a paragraph about your company. This gives us and others enough material to say something more than just a headline.
- Please include the name of your company in the headline and/or in the first sentence of your press release. Frankly your firm name is one of your best branding tools and we want to feature it. When the company name is not in the first sentence or headline we end up recrafting your well thought out presentation to put the name in the headline and perhaps watering down the message you wanted to convey.
- Include your website address prominently in your press release. Its a digital world and we would like to be able to direct our readers to your online presence. Shockingly at least a quarter of the press releases we receive don’t list the firm’s website. If you want to go for an extra star, also include your company’s full address and contact person. Your PR firm’s contact information is nice, and might be the correct person to speak to, but it should be in addition to the company’s information.
- Please provide an image with your press release no matter what it’s about—at the very least, always include your logo. You can include images with your press release a number of ways, though some methods are better than others. If you are sending an email, attach the images separately along with the press release. Alternatively indicate in the press release a place on the web where media could download associated high resolution images. Providing a web address from which to download images is often great for very large images as it keeps the email from becoming too big to send. Do not embed the images in a word document or pdf. It may look attractive but it makes it more difficult for us to run the image with your press release.
- Show us what you are selling. It is amazing how many press releases we receive about the launch of a new line of home furnishings or a great new designer’s collection that doesn’t even hint at what the products look like. If you don’t want publicity for your new line why send a press release in first place? Product images are best when they show your product in the setting that they will be used in. For instance, straight on photos of a new rug aren’t good editorially. In fact, at Rug News andDesign we direct our staff to avoid taking these types of photos because it makes it easy for people to copy your designs. The average reader is incapable of imagining the straight on photo of your product in their home. Help the reader out by showing them the entire lifestyle they get if they purchase your product.
- If you are announcing staff changes or a new hire at your firm you obviously want the industry to know about them, so show us who they are by providing a high resolution photo of the person. This isn’t hard, any recent cell phone takes a decent enough picture for this purpose—of course professional photos are welcome.
- Editors are lazy so please provide your press release in a format that is easily copied. Unformatted text in an email, or a word document attached to an email is best. We found a number of PDF press releases were uncopyable, and it is more involved for us to pull images out of a PDF. When we can’t easily extract the text or images from your press release they end up not being run, which defeats the purpose. Along this same line, we receive many press releases that are essentially perfect brochures, with one large image containing the text and the visuals. While pretty, this is the hardest delivery method for us to work with and is likely to not be run.
- Finally, share your passion in your press release. Tell the why of your company and product, not just the what or how. For instance, many in the home furnishing industry have made deep connections with the people and places that produce their products. Tell us about those connections in your press release. At least remind the reader of your activities. So often we at Rug News andDesign are told of amazing work that you do in the communities your product is produced in as an afterthought. Don’t make it an afterthought—it’s these types of stories that are of the most interest to publishers, us included. Tell these stories in your press release even if it is only to mention your firm’s ongoing support of a local charity.
RugIndustryNews.com is focused on featuring your news, parties, and new product lines. By including the eight must haves above, your press release will make it easier for publications and news outlets in your retailers’ local markets to do something with the press release.