Password-protected press rooms, tip sheets, and more

Do I always need my press releases translated in-language in order for Asian-American media to cover my story?

Do I always need my press releases translated in-language in order for Asian-American media to cover my story?

"Absolutely not," says Leslie Yngojo-Bowes of US Asian Wire. The language of English bridges and unites all Asian ethnic communities, she notes.

"Despite the diversity of Asian ethnicities, a 2003 US Department of Education study confirmed that more than 86% of Asian-Pacific Americans are literate in English," Yngojo-Bowes explains. "Earlier this year, the US Census Bureau found 63% of Asian-Pacific Americans, age 5 and older, speak only English. Translating a release to Chinese, for example, would alienate the other communities that don't read or speak the Chinese language."

Specific in-language media outlets are expanding because of their changing communities, she adds. Many provide online sections in English, and/or parts of their print editions have English sections. It is essential for media outlets to reach not only first-generation immigrants, but also the second, third, fourth, and fifth generations in some cases.

"The nature of the release or its relevancy for many Asian communities - or one specific ethnic group - will largely dictate whether translations are needed," Yngojo-Bowes adds.

Online press rooms

Is it a good idea to create a password-protected Web site press room?

"Many companies have password-protected sites for their online press rooms," says Jeffrey Davis of Sawmill Marketing, "but for most organizations, such a technique does more harm than good."

At a recent National Press Club media conference, Davis says that AP Broadcast's Mark Hamrick emphasized that easy accessibility to sources is key to scoring news coverage, and that means making sure your site can be perused by those on deadline.

"Sometimes it's maddening," said Hamrick, describing instances when he's gone online to get information, but has been asked to walk through a registration process and sign up for a user name and password - and then wait for an e-mail confirmation.

When reporters on deadline encounter such sites, many will move on to someone more willing to post the information, Davis says. Password-protected sites might keep competitors and the general public out, but they prevent reporters from obtaining information about your company, too.

Tip sheets

Does anyone put out tip sheets for the media these days, and, if so, what should I keep in mind today versus what we did in the past?

Sending out a tip sheet or a press release listing a number of possible story ideas for editors to consider still makes a lot of sense, says Peter Pollak of readMedia (formerly Empire Information Services). The concept is particularly useful as a way to remind editors - particularly at trade publications - about topics you've previously talked with them about.

"The key to a successful tip sheet is to write a concise paragraph about each story idea you'd like the media to consider," Pollak shares. He suggests using bullet points to set them off and capitalizing or bolding the story topic.

"Like all of your other press releases, Web visibility for tip sheets can pay off in attracting interest from freelancers, the general public, and media that are not in your normal distribution market," Pollak says.

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