The biggest reason press releases do not lead to air time, is because they aren’t written well.
Here’s an example of an email from Rep. Kathleen Peters. There is no media attached to the email. That means means the most air time the story will get is 15-seconds. Few producers write readers longer than 15-seconds.
Another reason few producers will air this is because it takes a lot of time to understand the point:
REPRESENTATIVE PETERS PASSES TWO MENTAL HEALTH BILLS
For Immediate Release
March 2, 2016
Contact: RJ Myers
REPRESENTATIVE PETERS CLEARS TWO MENTAL HEALTH BILLS FROM THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Tallahassee, FL -Representative Kathleen Peters (R-Treasure Island) moved two bills through the Florida House of Representative today with little debate. Legislation seeking to expand and enhance the behavioral health system in Florida while addressing immediate solutions and generating a plan for the delivery of behavioral health services to the residents of Florida. These bills address increasing issues around the state that highlight a flawed mental health system that has failed to protect innocent children and adults.
HB 769 relating to Mental Health Treatment changes the timeframe for mandatory dismissal of all charges for an individual whom the court has determined to be incompetent to proceed and who remains incompetent for five years after the court’s original determination. Additionally, this allows for the continuation of psychotropic medications previously prescribed while incarcerated.
HB 977 relating to Behavioral Health Workforce grants prescribing authority to Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners and Physician’s Assistants for schedule two substances with few limitations. This bill also expands eligibility for those seeking to be service providers and clarifies Department of Corrections employee parameters when dealing with patients.
“People suffering from mental illness are not getting care as a result of a national shortage of behavioral health providers. This takes a comprehensive approach to address this workforce shortage and ensure every person in the state of Florida suffering will have access to mental health professionals. For far too long we have not acted in the best interest of people with mental illness and with the passage of these bills, we have now a taken a strong first step to address many issues within the behavioral health system.
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If you ever write press releases, you need to understand that all of that information is just a waste of words. Here is what that press release should look like:
HELP IS COMING TO FLORIDIANS WITH MENTAL HEALTH STRUGGLES.
TWO BILLS ARE NOW MOVING THROUGH THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
ONE ENSURES PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS WILL GET MEDICATIONS WHILE INCARCERATED.
THE OTHER ALLOWS NURSES TO PRESCRIBE DRUGS.
Remember, always lead with impact! And don’t bury the lead.