Today’s Guest Post is written by Marsha Friedman, President of EMSI Public Relations.

The print media landscape has changed dramatically in the last two years. Most major daily newspapers no longer employ book editors or staff reviewers. They no longer have the space for reviews, nor the revenue to pay for a writer to cover that area.

Marsha Friedman

When they do want to include a books section in the Sunday paper occasionally, they typically grab copy from the wire services. Moreover, most lifestyle sections have been downsized in both space and staff. The New York Times has laid off more than 1,500 people over the last two years and they receive more than 500 press releases per day.

Who’s reading them? Anyone? Daily newspapers, monthly magazines and Web-based news outlets don’t have staff sitting around waiting for a good press release to write about. And, the way most press releases are written, they typically require some level of action on the part of the news organization to respond to it. Yet, they don’t have the staff anymore, therefore, they rarely, if ever, respond.

So, if you’re going to send out a press release, make sure it has valuable content and enough information that doesn’t require any action by the news media for it to be useful to them.

If you’re going to do your own PR, realize it’s a profession and there’s skill and knowledge you need to gain in order to be successful at it. It’s like trying to do home repairs. After a few tries to fix the pipe, if it still leaks, maybe it’s time to call the plumber. If you’re having some of these issues and you’re starting to lose faith in the message of your book, maybe it’s time to consider calling in a pro.

Marsha Friedman
Chief Executive Officer
EMSI Public Relations