By Jenny Fujita and Joy K.Miura, Fujita & Miura Public Relations, LLC.
Dilemma#1: You want to get your business name in the public spotlight, but you don’t have anything “groundbreaking” to highlight.
Dilemma #2: You’ve rolled out an extensive advertising and/or publicity campaign and your information is getting dry and repetitive.
What do you do? Never fear. You don’t need a cataclysmic event to get attention. You just need to know how to write an item.
An item is a short story about something clever, eccentric, unique or humorous. Many print publications have sections or columns dedicated to featuring these brief snippets of information. Louella Benson-Garcia, Ed.D. explains that an item is usually used when the information you want to share does not justify a press release, to build interest in an upcoming event, or to sustain public enthusiasm in an ongoing campaign. In the best cases, items can result in expanded media coverage.
When writing an item, Benson-Garcia suggests using the same format as a press release, keep the length to 50 words or less, create a eye-catching headline, and be sure to include the always essential who, what, where, when, why and how so that the reader is not left guessing.
If you’re still unsure about using this PR tool, we all recently witnessed a successful item at work a few weeks ago. When Miss America, Angela Perez Baraquio, was proposed to during the Miss Hawaii Pageant last month, the media placements were numerous, although not lengthy at all. The result? More people knew about the details of Baraquio’s engagement than who actually claimed the Miss Hawaii title. Now, that’s PR.