Why Press Releases Work Better with Snail Mail
by Jeffrey Dobkin
“Hey, it’s easy to send press releases by email! Let’s send them all this way!” Anything else? “Look here—on the Web, we can send 10,000 of them for just 10 cents each!”
Yeah, right. Let’s write that into our media plan and go home and sleep well, knowing how thorough we were.
While it may be much more convenient for you to send email press releases, it’s much more effective to mail traditional releases through the good old U.S. Postal Service. Remember them?
Email releases are fine for emergency issues and truly breaking news. But for book launches, announcements, business personnel changes, and so forth, regular, old-fashioned, traditionally mailed press releases blow email releases away. Here’s why.
First, think about how many documents you can have up on your screen at once. One, maybe two. Now, how many other documents are waiting to be viewed? So the email release gets very briefly noted, and with the click of a mouse, it’s out of sight. And in a business of crowded, fast-paced, and short-lived stories, out of sight is out of mind.
Then picture the mouse hand of the very, very busy editor, waving and pausing over the Delete button. Unless your release is the most absolutely positively compelling one in the stack of 100 the editor received this week, poof! Faster than you can say “Spam,” it has changed from one more email clogging up the editor’s inbox to one that needn’t be dealt with ever again. There, that was easy.
Now let’s look at a prettier picture: A traditionally printed and mailed press release—with a covering letter—arrives in a nice package. Let’s face it; who doesn’t like to get this kind of mail? Real mail. The editor opens it, feels the drape of your high-quality stationery, sees the brilliantly designed letterhead and your crisply printed press release sparkling with the message: Read Me—not necessarily now, but at your convenience.
OK, so I got a little carried away there. But you get the point. A traditionally mailed paper release—in fact, a whole press kit—can sit on an editor’s desk, get passed around, and wait patiently for a later review over a quick lunch or while flipping through “things to do while not at the computer.”
No matter how you cut it, the editor can’t see your whole press package on screen. And no, clicking through pages on a laptop isn’t the same as laying them out or flipping through the real thing at a desk. For best coverage, I say press releases should be sent by traditional mail. Any arguments?
Jeffrey Dobkin is a traditional direct-mail copywriter and a speaker whose humorous presentations are filled with practical direct-marketing tips. He has written four books on direct marketing. To inquire about a free analysis of your direct-marketing packages or programs, call 610/642-1000.