Press releases are great tools for getting local media attention.  Pending your product or service, you may even want to target national media outlets.  Because your target audience is a media outlet, this means that you need to appeal to them in a way to get your content noticed and picked up.  Your information must be newsworthy and reported as news, and not as marketing and advertising messaging.

There are basic features and elements in press releases; and even more are being made available as news evolves in the social media genre we’re living in in 2020.  It’s becoming more acceptable to include video, social links, and images, whereas in decades prior, it was custom to only provide text releases.  There were fewer distribution channels which also made this an expensive option.

Today there are many methods to getting your press release noticed – let’s start with the sections of the release and how to write for the media.

Your release is a basic recipe like most repeatable content pieces. This makes it easier for reporters to find what they’re looking for and expedite the writing process.  Your release should start with the current date, city and state of news location.  The introduction paragraph should announce your news and who your company is in a nutshell.  Be sure to reference your company website after your company name with the https:// and you will get backlinks when your release is published and shared online.  The backlinks help your website rank in Google and Yahoo.

Your 2nd and 3rd paragraphs should go into further detail of the news item.  If it’s an event, be sure to cover who will be there, what the event is, why the event is being held, where the event is being held, when the event will occur with date and time details as well as when the event is scheduled to end.  If this is a product or service, be sure to cover who the product or service is intended for, why it is good for this audience, what it will do for the audience, where the product or service is useful, when the product or service is useful as well as its features and benefits.  You should also include a quote in both your 2nd and 3rd paragraph; one from the founder and one from a customer.  Lastly, you should place your video between paragraphs 3 and 4, sandwiched between the news rich space.

Your 4th paragraph is the wrap up paragraph where you recap your announcement and close the release out.  This paragraph is also where you will announce any future product or service news. (e.g. Contest Factory plans on releasing 20 more new products this year to further support their gamification brand.)

Your last content block will be the About paragraph at the bottom of the news release.  This is where you can go into more detail about your company and what your organization does.  You would reference the organizations’ inception year, industry, and unique assets for your brand here.  This is also where you would place your social media links.  Be sure to include Linkedin and have your profile decked out as news releases typically resonate well on this platform.  Your final note in this section is the press contact with first name, last name, phone number, and email address.

Now that you have your release prepared for local and national journalists, it’s time to distribute this.  There are a few options here.  You can hire a PR firm or use your own forces to get media.

PR Firms will offer a varied level of services and you pay them for their relationships and skills to traffic your news release and get media attention.  This is costly and does not have guarantees.  Typically, PR Firms operate on a retainer and are not, “one off” news releases.

There are plenty of ways to get your own media attention. You can publish your release on PRNewswire, PRWeb, SBWire, or a host of other online newswire services.  These services distribute your release to different levels of media audiences, based on what you pay. You can pay add on services to target different markets and include your video.  These services typically drive backlinks because plenty of news sources publish releases as is to have fresh information for their readers online with no cost of writing and editing.

You should also note all the journals, magazines, websites, brands, and locations you want your release noticed.  Identify your audience and target what they would read.  If you are publishing a beauty product, you will look up Cosmo magazine and find the beauty column editor.  Create a list of all news journalists you are targeting from newspaper to LinkedIn, and Facebook alike.  Next you need to find them online to get their email address and twitter handle; these are the 2 best ways to get noticed as they are direct messages. Journalists information is typically published in their column, and on the publication website.  Send each email or tweet individual with a note as to why you wanted to get this release in front of the journalist and appreciate their column.  This same approach works with instant messaging your release on Facebook and LinkedIn.

These methods with reliable use will start to get you noticed and published.  Be sure to follow the tips from content to distribution and you’re sure to get backlinks, shares, and attention to your news.

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