As I’ve said before, most editors are inundated by press releases sent by companies and organizations that desperately want to be covered.

Amazingly, many of them miss a simple step that can dramatically increase the likelihood that their release will be among the few that will actually be picked up and used.

That simple step is including a contact person within the company or the organization, as well as information about how to reach that person. You see, even the most well-written press release may neglect to cover all of the details. Or it may not describe something as clearly and understandably as the sender believes. So the editor (or, at larger publications, a fact-checker) may want to fill in the gaps or verify that element. Having a contact person with a phone number and an email address makes it easy for the editor to do that. Leaving those pieces of information off could lead the editor to toss the press release aside in favor of the next one in the pile.

A caveat: be sure that that the contact person is reachable. If editors become frustrated when contact information isn’t available, they really get ticked when a phone call or email goes unanswered. So if you’re going to put the CEO’s name as the contact, and she’s about to leave for a two-week retreat in Tibet, you might want to think about using someone else’s name and number instead.