Most auctioneers (who make up much my clientele) think in terms of news releases primarily for calling attention to an upcoming event. But there are other times when a news release is often even more important.
After the auction. You promoted your auction well and had a big success. Now why not build your own business? Nothing works better than pointing to a success and telling people about it. Reporters and editors actually like stories like this better, because they’re reporting on something that actually happened.
When there’s a risk of bad publicity. Sometimes, the story behind an auction is ugly, and your seller is worried about calling attention to it. This is the worst thing you, because if it’s a high-profile individual or property, you run a risk that the media will sniff out the story or get a tip and write something that doesn’t reflect your best interests. It’s much better to take the initiative and tell your side of the story first. I’ve seen this work in cases ranging from sellers with criminal records to nasty divorces to family feuds.
When you feel publicity is a slam dunk. Sometimes, it’s tempting to think, “the media are going to cover this anyway, so I’ll save the money on the news release.” First, nothing is a slam dunk. I never take publicity for granted! And a bigger problem is similar to the one mentioned a moment ago: A reporter may get wind of the auction, call someone not affiliated with you or your seller, and write a story that fails to promote the event.
When might a release be a bad idea? When the event is in a “news desert” — an area with little or no media covering it. In this case, a web release that relies on the Internet to get the word out can be effective, but it’s unwise to budget a release that needs to engage reporters who simply aren’t there. When in doubt, give me a call at 205-823-3273.