Publicity Overload Blog...
Nila Jamil, Marketing Coordinator.
Colour separation charges - just no getting away from them
Gone are the days when you could send a news release out and then, assuming the content is well written and interesting, you sit back and wait for the coverage to appear. Sadly, these days, having sent your news release out you are inundated with ‘colour separation charges’, requesting money to publish your news release.

Colour separations are paid for spaces, usually getting you 100–150 words with a colour image. The term colour separation came from the pre-digital age when publishers had to scan the image and separate the film into four individual colour components for printing; the components being cyan, magenta, yellow and black, known as CMYK. By combining these colours, a wide spectrum of colours could be produced on the printed page.

With the arrival of digital printing that no longer applies and therefore it does not cost to produce a colour image any more than it does to produce a black and white one. However, with advertising revenue falling, many trade publications now rely on these charges to generate enough income to survive.

A well written and interesting feature length article is often generic so you can generally avoid paying for them, but you can’t get away from colour separation charges for new releases.

So, what can you do to ensure you get the most value?

Firstly, just because you have to pay for it don’t assume a magazine will publish anything you send.  It’s much better to generate a really strong, targeted editorial piece than several poor quality pieces of badly targeted press.  Only then will it be considered.
To generate coverage and promote your products or services in the market it is best to figure out which media are going to be the best ones to spend your money with – we can recommend the most suitable titles for you.

Always negotiate the charge, try and get a landscape image rather than a vertical as this gets you more space and check that company details are included. Avoid placing lots of releases into one issue, try and spread them out instead. Finally, see if they have a reader enquiry service, produce digital issue, website and e-Newsletter as these are all added bonuses.