A good press release is essential to the press coverage your business needs. It is an open invitation for any journalist, blogger, or interested party to learn more about your business, and it helps send the message you’re trying to share with the world.
Even though this type of conversation with the media has been somewhat superseded with announcements on social media, a proper PR manager still needs to learn how to submit a press release. Your business could be launching a new product, opening a new store, announcing a new partnership, or a local event - all of these events warrant a good media release.
The first step, of course, is writing a press release. Major companies will typically hire someone for the task. However, if you are running a small business and need to be careful with your budget, you should consider writing it yourself.
There is an art to writing a good press release, but we won’t be going into the finer details here. Let’s quickly go over some of the main points for a quick rundown on how to write a good one by yourself.
Keep in mind that the piece you will submit as a press release is not an advertisement - if you’d like to advertise something, you should purchase an ad. It isn’t a news piece either. Instead, it’s dancing on the line between the two, and you need to find the perfect balance. Otherwise, your news release will likely be ignored and thrown away.
Most importantly, media releases must provide relevant information to the readers. If you are opening a store, focusing on why the store is needed or how many jobs it will provide to the community is an excellent perspective to take in your writing. If your product is helping people, focus on why the help is needed. You want to submit a press release that editors will regard as valuable content that they want to publish.
Some general writing rules apply to the press releases as well. You have the attention of your potential customers during the first couple of sentences, so make those matter. Always mind the length of your press release. Of course, you also want to include your contact information if your editor has questions for you or wants to publish it.
Before you send press releases out, you will want to give it a double-check for any grammar mistakes or typos that will undoubtedly make you seem unprofessional if they slip past the editing stage. Sending it to a proofreader, or at least using one of the grammar checkers available online, is almost mandatory. Lastly, you’ll want to ensure you’ve included all the relevant and correct information.
Now that we’ve gone through the refresher course for press release writing, it is time to discuss how to get the release submitted and published.
Now that you have your press release ready, it is time to submit and publish it. However, this process can be a bit difficult. Don’t fret; we’ll take you through it step by step.
Blindly sending the press release to anyone likely won’t give you the results you were hoping for, and it has a fair chance of getting you black-listed for spam. Make sure you send your press release to the relevant publications and the right press releases contact there.
For example, if your release is industry-specific, you should consider sending it to editorial offices covering that particular industry. On the other hand, contacting a local editorial office is better if the press release submission revolves around a specific location, such as opening a company branch in a new city.
Broadly speaking, the two main types of publications can be described as conventional and non-conventional. By conventional, we mean newspapers, television channels, or radio stations which are an excellent solution for those who need local promotion.
On the other hand, non-conventional solutions, such as blogs, Facebook or LinkedIn groups, and other digital outlets, are a better choice if you want to reach a wider audience, even though they might be more informal than conventional publications.
You should be able to find the person in charge of press release submissions by checking the publication’s website or LinkedIn page. Furthermore, you will likely find a comprehensive guide to submitting press releases for a particular outlet on its website or even an online submission form to help you out.
It is a very time-consuming task, but once you get it over with, you will have a list of contacts you could reuse for your next press release. Noting the details down in a list or as a spreadsheet will save you a lot of time in the future.
Once you have your list ready, your next step is sending press releases to local media, blogs, or Facebook groups. For this, you need to prepare the accompanying submission email.
In it, you should indicate who you and your business are and inform the publication that you are submitting a press release, which you would like the editor to consider covering. You should also include why you think the announcement would be of interest to your audience and theirs.
Giving them a good reason for covering the story in your email might tip the scales in your favor. If you are insecure about what you should include, you can always find a press release email template online and adapt it to fit your announcement.
It is also essential to include a date by which you would like your press release published. If your document is time-sensitive, it is crucial to submit it one or two weeks in advance - you want to give your editor the time to prepare it if they decide to run it.
Research has shown that the best time of day to try and land your press release in an editor's inbox is between 10 AM and 2 PM, preferably on a Thursday. It is advisable to send a press release within this timeframe, as you’ll have higher chances of getting your email opened, and the story covered.
Once the press release gets published, it is up to you to use all the tools at your disposal to promote it. Advertising it in relevant groups on social media is advisable, as it is very likely where your customers are. However, use this type of content wisely - don’t bore your followers to death with irrelevant news. Instead, post the press releases in relevant groups, share them with people who are interested, or even repurpose the content into a new and social-media-suitable format.
Alternatively, if you want to outsource this task to someone else, many press release services and software are available online. These press release services will undoubtedly help you save a lot of time and effort and provide you with the type of reach that you are unlikely to reach by yourself.
These tools will submit your press release to their well-established network of individuals and organizations to publish for a small price. You can also rely on these press release distribution services to further prepare and optimize a press release you’ve already created (in order to match different guidelines, for example). Outsourcing this part removes hours of additional manual work you’d typically have to do if you were to submit your press release all by yourself.
Some of the better distribution services will allow you to use their analytical tools and track the success of your press release after it has been published. These types of analytics should be one of the main things to look out for when choosing a press releases service.
And there you have it, a quick step-by-step guide on how to send out a press release. Hopefully, with these guidelines, you’ll be able to get the media coverage your business needs as easily as possible.
The price of publishing a press release can be free if you write it yourself and manually send a bunch of emails to numerous editors hoping someone would answer.
On the other hand, press distribution services can write, optimize, and submit your press release for you. Still, their services don’t come cheap. They vary heavily depending on the press release company, and can be anywhere from $20 to $2000.
It certainly is, especially if your story is newsworthy. If you take a DIY approach or find a cheap service that you like, it is a low-cost opportunity to expand your customer base and reach a wider audience.
Furthermore, you can use a press release to add a healthy boost to your website if the press release is published online. A link from an established news site can bring you plenty of new traffic and help with your site’s SEO and traffic.
When it comes to sending your release via email, you can do so through an attachment or by directly writing it in the body of the message. Some people suggest putting it directly into the mail to avoid the nuisance of having to open an attachment, but you can also use a link in the email to include it. In your accompanying email text, make sure to introduce yourself and the company and give a short overview of the news, preferred publication date, and other relevant information.
Now you know how to submit a press release via email. Just remember to take it slow and double-check your grammar and attachments.
Your email address will not be published.