Yesterday we explained How to Write a Press Release. Now that you’ve written your release, knowing how to send a press release will ensure that it is forwarded to the right hands for distribution. You’ve got the perfect event/product, and you’ve managed to draft the perfect press release to highlight it. Now all you need is the right audience. Below is a list of tips on how to effectively get your press release into the hands of the media.
Compile your list of potential recipients. Select the editors and journalists who may show interest in your article. Now comes the hard part. Querying each media outlet via phone or snail mail is the best way to get your press release noticed. Ensure that they accept emailed press releases, and obtain the most up-to-date contact information on where to send them. This will help avoid the dreaded spam folders.
Know your audience
Get the full name, position, and email for the appropriate contact for your release. Sending a press release without accurate contact information is the equivalent of folding your press release into a paper airplane and throwing it out your window. Only send your press release to one person per news outlet. The biggest complaint from editors? Receiving press releases that have nothing to do with what they publish.
Fax is dead
Send your press release via email; a stressed editor is more likely to grab a story from a format that lends itself to cutting and pasting. If you can make it easy for them to print your article, why not do it?
Do not get attached
Format your email carefully. Don’t send your full press release as an attachment, due to the prevalence of computer viruses. It is becoming standard practice to delete unsolicited emails with attachments unopened. Instead, include a teaser of your press release in the body of the email, with a link to the full press release as it appears on your website.
How to Send a Press Release
Timing is everything
Mid-week is usually the best time to send out your press release, as editors aren’t swamped after the weekend but still have a chance to follow up with you before the next weekend. Avoid sending out press releases in and around holidays.
Think big, but don’t be afraid to start small
Begin by reading the news. The content of your press release may unexpectedly become a hot topic. Trade publications, regional or local newspapers, free weekly newspapers or magazines, e-zines, and newsletters are all places to send your press release, in addition to national papers and high-circulation magazines. Remember, any exposure is good exposure!
Your editor at FirstEditing can review your release. They will ensure it is consistent, error-free, properly formatted, and ready for distribution.
Originally posted 4/8/2010 and happily updated 11/14/2017. Thanks for reading!