Artisan Marketing Communications offers clients PR and marketing communications advice, practical support and implementation.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fax better than e-mail for your news story!

I thought I would give Jim Symcox, marketer, an opportunity on my world famous blog. Over to you Jim:

First though let me introduce myself...

My name is Jim Symcox I’m a marketing evangelist, business growth coach and the features editor for the Northwest business newspaper "Good Company." So I understand and use PR myself.

Anyway, so what's the secret? I can almost see you drooling to find out.

Originally I read about it in a course I purchased from an old PR guru (Paul Hartunian). As I bought the course many years ago I'd assumed the Internet had replaced this method of getting publicity.

In actual fact the method itself is very simple.

Paul Krupin, a well known American PR guru, has done the research that shows 80% of US editors prefer to get a one page fax news release to an email.

So the secret is to fax your news release to the appropriate news editors.
Think about the reasons why fax is more popular amongst a large percentage of editors than email:

  • It's actually quicker to scan through a piece of paper than an email
  • You can hand-write in points to look into further directly on the paper
  • You can hand over a fax to another reporter to follow-up
  • It doesn't add to the clutter in your in-box

Now look at the benefits if you use your fax to send editors news:

  • You stand out because fewer faxes are received
  • You can’t be classified as SPAM and removed before you get to an in-box
  • Your release is seen the way you formatted it, rather than how their computer displays it

However, the proof is in the pudding, try it out for yourself and see your results.

I’ve only one caveat – make the release interesting!

8 Comments:

Anonymous Paul Krupin said...

Rob:

I don't know for sure where you found this information or theese ideas but it's many years out of date. Faxes are no longer the technology of choice. Email is.
We even stopped using the name Imediafax two years ago since it was causing so much confusion. You may want to take down this post or replace it with current information at my web site www.directcontactpr.com

Paul J. Krupin
Direct Contact PR

3:25 PM

 
Blogger mohit said...

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3:25 AM

 
Blogger Tom said...

Fax? Really? Sorry Jim but you might as well have just told me to communicate with a journalist by semaphore or smoke signals. Thankfully the author of your research agrees. Perhaps you were just trying to stir up debate?

Email has its problems certainly. Any PR who relies on blasting out anonymous releases by email is going to get little response and even less results. Email is a medium for delivering detail once you have discussed a story with a journalist on the phone. Better to call five journos with whom you have a good relationship and who you know will be interested in what you are pitching, than to send out a thousand emails.

Or faxes for that matter. 'Can't be classified as SPAM'? Do you have a fax? They get spammed all the time!

No offence Jim - especially if you were just trying to start a debate - but frankly I think this is nonsense.

5:10 AM

 
Blogger tom said...

btw - my blogger account is a little anonymous. I blog about the future but my background is in marketing and PR. I currently run Manchester technology marketing consultancy IO Communications.

5:17 AM

 
Anonymous Rob Artisan said...

To be fair I heard a Guardian journalist prefer paper copies of press releases, partly as they did stand out and she found it easier to read.

I e-mail as it is quick and expedient. However, I had one journalist tell me my release might have been deleted because he had so many e-mails after coming back from holiday that he preferred to delete them rather than wade through them.

Nevertheless e-mails and phone and in person are my preferred methods of communication

8:50 AM

 
Blogger Jim Symcox said...

Hi Rob,

I think where this misunderstanding has occured is that I was quite surprised to find that fax's were preferred. That's why I headlined it as a secret.

I'd read an article by Joe Vitale (marketing guru as you know) - article at http://www.link-promote.com/other_articles/sending_news_releases.html

Joe had written about the research Paul had done.

Unfortunately when I checked Paul's site in his FAQ it says under "What services do you specifically provide?"

The answer included "News release distribution – principally by either fax or email, which ever is deemed most appropriate after discussing the project with the client."

So I thought, Aha, he does still do it.

I'd be interested to know what other PR people find with editors they talk to. Ones I've talked to are currently slowly sinking under the email tide.

Jim

9:19 AM

 
Anonymous tom said...

I wouldn't argue that any journalist I know doesn't get too much email. But to say that they therefore prefer fax is a total non-sequitur. They will find your email if they know to look for it. Whether or not they still know where the fax machine is, is another matter entirely.

11:22 AM

 
Blogger Jim Symcox said...

Nice one Tom,

I must admit my fax rests nicely in the corner and hasn't been used by me for about 4 or 5 weeks.

Jim

5:59 PM

 

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