Auctions Aren’t News… And Other Reasons The Media Isn’t Interested

By: Trisha Brauer, CAI, BAS, MBA and 2016 NAA Board Candidate 

I am going to make a controversial statement for our industry: Auctions aren’t news. They are events but events are not automatically newsworthy.

As marketing experts, we know that writing press releases are an important component of our marketing plans.

Here are tips to get your story picked up
(this is code for “do these”)

  1. Think like a reader: You don’t want to read lists of facts; you want news!
  2. Give a hook: One strong sentence can make or break your release. Provide a strong/interesting/intriguing sentence in the first paragraph to make readers want to continue.
  3. Solve a problem: People love to have their problems solved. Explain how you can save someone time, make them more money or make their lives safer.
  4. Include a call to action: Remember that people need to be told the next step.
  5. Focus on news, not entertainment: Do not overuse adjectives, adverbs and fluff. Find the balance between facts and storytelling.

Top 5 Media Mistakes (this is code for “don’t do these”)

  1. Pitching yourself/business/auction instead of a story: Find a unique fact, point of history or human interest piece to be the center of focus for writing a release about an auction.
  2. Being long-winded: I am often guilty as charged here. Press releases should be 300-ish words.
  3. Making the pitch an advertisement: Make the story around your auction interesting enough that people will want to come. This tactic allows you to not make the release feel like it is just another advertisement for your auction.
  4. Not being helpful: Write in a media friendly manner which includes using bullets, quotes and putting the copy directly into an email (Attachments are like the adult version of free candy when you were a kid).
  5. Forgetting contact information: Make sure to include ONE of the following: phone number, email and website.

In conclusion, the bad news here is that it is up to the discretion of a media outlet whether to run a press release or not and we have little control over if the release makes it to the public. The good news is that these tips will increase your odds of publishing your release.

About the author: Trisha Brauer is a member of the NAA, an instructor for BAS Designation and a candidate for the Board of Directors 2016.

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