The Design Business Show 223: How to Audit your Industry to Determine PR Blindspot Opportunities with Mickie Kennedy

Director : Melissa Burkheimer | April 10, 2023
Check out episode 223 of The Design Business Show with Mickie Kennedy to learn about crafting press releases.

Mickie Kennedy founded eReleases 24 years ago to help small businesses, authors, and startups increase their visibility and credibility through press release marketing. He lives in the Baltimore area.

Here’s what we covered on the episode:

Goals of a Press Release 

  • There are many different types of strategic press releases, and one of them, Mickie says, is researching your industry for blind spots; otherwise, you have a press release that doesn’t result in anything
  • How Mickie and his team helped a client issue a press release on a blind spot, and how they were able to issue 6 additional press releases on that same blind spot – each had articles written about them, which is the goal of a press release
  • The articles written by media based on your press release convert very well because it’s like a third-party endorsement for your company
  • Mickie explains that these articles are a useful tool when working with leads and getting them to commit to working with you
  • 26 years ago, Mickie graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing with an emphasis in poetry and knew he’d be waiting tables for the rest of his life, which he did for a bit but ended up being picked up by a telecom research start-up where he wrote press releases  
  • Mickie explains why you want to craft whatever press release you’re doing into a story so a journalist sees the story and can create an article from it  
  • How PR firms tailor each pitch directly to key media outlets, which works but is very labor intensive – eReleases works with PR firms that send over their press releases, and then eReleases sends it through PR Newswire, the oldest and largest newswire of press releases which is available to journalists
  • Mickie recommends doing both personal pitches and using a press release platform – many of their clients build relationships over time with different media outlets and email them directly and pitch as specifically as possible   
  • If you have a good quote, Mickie says to include it in the pitch because most journalists can craft a story around a really great quote
  • Mickie says 95% of press releases that pay to go through his service don’t generate any media attention because they aren’t writing meaningful releases
  • Many start-ups do well with eReleases because they understand their unique selling proposition and tell a story – being a small company is not an obstacle; it’s something that makes you more likely to get media attention

Crafting a Press Release + Finding Blind Spots 

  • When eReleases started, Mickie had an email list of about 10,000 journalists who agreed to receive press releases from him as long as it was in their niche of reporting, so Mickie would have clients come in and match them with the right editors on his list
  • With the wire, it’s an electronic distribution where journalists have a login and can look at press releases based on different filters they set
  • Mickie explains that it’s $1,200 to send a 500-word press release through the wire nationally, and all of the releases that go out through eReleases, which are substantially cheaper, also go out nationally through PR Newswire who offered to work with Mickie over 10 years ago
  • A winning press release often isn’t based on how it was written but what it’s writing about – knowing that journalists are gatekeepers means you should reverse engineer what you want to announce
  • One of the easiest ways for someone to get media attention is to produce their own data by doing a survey or study in their industry with specific and relative questions
  • Narrowing down the data you focus on in a press release is important, but Mickie says you should build a page on your website that includes all the questions and responses because journalists will go there to see if there’s a different angle to write about, and will link to your resource page
  • Mickie says to send people to your website after they take your survey because it’s a great way to get in front of more people in your industry
  • To find blind spots, Mickie says it’s good to do audits and bring in other people from your industry and ask them what gaps they feel trade publications or media don’t cover well and use that as material to build out from
  • Take Mickie’s free Masterclass to walk away with strategic ideas on press releases for your business
  • Local media is some of the easiest media coverage to get – research who covers your industry, then email them a pitch that could be about a trend in your industry and share what you’re doing as a local business based on that trend and make sure to include an amazing quote
  • Visit the eReleases website to reach out and find out more about them


Links mentioned:

eReleases Website

Free Masterclass: How to Build a PR Campaign Designed to Get Massive Media Coverage


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