Eight Reasons to Send a Cover Letter with Your Press Release

March 2004
by Jeffrey Dobkin

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I got back to the peace and quiet of my own office. Took off my tie. Took off my suit, and my good shirt, too, and jumped into a pair of shorts and a T-shirt. Slipped on my fake Birkenstock sandals. Opened one of the five windows I sit in the middle of, smiling at some of the dozen or so plants that are personal friends of mine and allow me to share their space. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for what I have and where I am. Fifteen voicemails, and they could all wait. One part-time employee, and she was gone for the day. It was quiet.

I had just returned from a tough meeting with a consulting client, the owner of a top Philadelphia PR firm, who had told me in no uncertain terms it wasn’t necessary to send a letter with a press release. And they send thousands of press releases–each week! “Why include a letter that says ‘Enclosed is a press release’?” he roared at me. “They can see that! Magazine and newspaper editors are busy.”

Still too wound up from the meeting to take a quick nap, I wandered in self-doubt, asking myself whether, all these years, I’d been sending press releases the wrong way–by including a cover letter. It was a short walk. Let me tell you why you absolutely must include a letter with every single press release you send. I don’t care what anyone else tells you. And you can believe this or not, it’s your choice.

A press release is, of course, a one- or two-page docu…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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