1. Do the work for the editor or producer and create a story:
Print media Editors and radio/tv producers want to do one thing: fill pages and time slots. So they actually don't have the time to be creative. They need to be fed the idea. So you sending a random, non-specific press release is useless. However, if you send a story idea about the increase in drug addiction in your city and how you overcame the problem, you're more likely to get that producer's attention.
2. Be prepared to email, fax, or call at the drop of a dime:
Keep a contact list of reporter and editor contacts in your phone, in your email data base, and by your fax machine. Be prepared to reach out to them regularly. When news happens that is the slightest bit related to your topic, you need to move quick and get a release to your list of editors and producers. If your book is about dogs and a story comes out about a local animal abuse arrest, you need to have your release in the hands of the media showing them that you are an expert on the topics of animals and (go back to tip #1) how you would be able to do an interview on what makes people abuse animals.
3. Be brief:
Remember, editors and producers don't have time to read a 2-page letter. You have 30 seconds (if that) to highlight how you can make their day successful. So GET TO THE POINT! Use caps and bold letters for the power points. I suggest you Google how to write a brief but effective ad copy.
4. Add pictures. Images draw attention.
Add a poignant image. If there is an animal abuse story, adding a heart-wrenching image of an abused animal like we see in those animal abuse commercials won't hurt your chances of getting attention.