Tip sheets are quick and easy publicity tools that many PR practitioners (myself included) neglect. Just to clarify, I’ve seen media advisories called tip sheets, but here I’m talking about lists that provide how-to information or key points about an issue/situation.
Here are some quick tips for tip sheets:
1. Create an attention-grabbing headline. I visited the news wires and found some examples:
Easy ways to Score Big at Your Next Tailgating Party
– Lifetime Products ( via PR Newswire)
How to Keep Your Puppy Safe During The Holidays
– Purebred Breeders (via Business Wire)
5 Signs That Fraud is Hurting Your Sales
– Cybersource Corporation (via The Free Library by Farlex)
These headlines all speak to readers’ self-interest and address them directly with an offer of information.
2. Decide whether you need an introduction. Some experts advise plunging straight into the tips, but you may need to provide context e.g., attribute the tips to a report/book or elaborate on particular facts.
3. Send tip sheets to media outlets in press release format. Editors love these ready-made articles and fillers. You can also use this tactic with video news releases (or VRNs) for television.
4. Offer tip sheets directly to your target market. In this case, you’ll send out a press release announcing the tip sheet and/or post appropriate messages on various online lists or forums.
5. Write five or more points/list items, so the tip sheet feels substantial. I’ve seen a tip sheet with 37 listed points, but I wouldn’t recommend you send something that extensive to media outlets. Larger tip sheets are better suited for direct distribution to your prospects and clients.
For media outlets, I think even 15 points can be overwhelming, so aim for a lower number.
6. Promote books, reports, etc. by including excerpts or summarized points in a tip sheet-style release.
7. Use tip sheets as tie-ins to national holidays, special events, etc.
8. If you haven’t identified yourself in an introduction, do so in a final paragraph, which should also contain contact information.
Now start looking for those tip sheet opportunities.