Press Release Example

press releasesPress releases are an admirable way of getting yourself known, which in turn will help you to get interviews and readings.

Releases are commonly issued to announce:

launch of a new book or publishing service

new relationship with another business

good news or financial results

appointment of a senior executive

All news is grist to the business mill, and correspondents rely on a steady supply. But how do you write press releases, and get them published? Distribution you'll have to leave largely to a news bureau, but the copy you can either compose yourself or hire a professional to write.

Writing Your Own Press Releases

Press releases are written to a standard newspaper format, which yours must follow to be taken seriously:

title: as with the newspaper headline, you must grab the reader's attention here.

summary: 2 or 3 sentences that stress the importance of the release.

body: 2 paragraphs giving the details, with individuals quoted.

company information: what the company is and does, location, when founded, etc.

contact information: phone, fax, email, company URL, and name(s) of personnel who can be contacted for more information.

Editors want news, not hype, and you'll be more successful if your piece is topical and includes leads to matters of current concern. Keep an eye on what's happening in your sector of the market, therefore, and examine other press releases for structure and ideas. Finally, make sure the piece is proofed and the facts checked: it's not the bureau's job to do this.

Hiring a Pro

Press releases are not difficult, but professionals are always happier working with other professionals. Whatever you write, therefore, it'll probably be given a final polishing if an advertising agency handles your promotion. Accept the situation, and just make sure the facts are right.

Getting the News Out

Email and the Internet has greatly assisted the dissemination of business news, but the principles remain the same: your press release needs to land promptly on the desks of the relevant journalists and editors. First and foremost, the piece must be relevant to the publication, and interesting to its readers. How do you get to the people concerned? Large companies have their own press officers, who keep up contacts in the business world. Smaller companies will also email their piece to editors of likely websites and magazines, but make more use of news bureaus, which email the piece to hundreds, if not thousands, of journalists worldwide. Some of the better known bureaus are listed below, but be aware that:

before emailing you should first check (phone or write) with journalists and editors that they accept press releases.

results take time: you may have to resubmit.

releases must be brief and to the point: more information will be asked for.

you should keep facts and figures to hand for subsequent phone calls.

Evolving Picture

Today, press releases are less aimed at trade and consumer media outlets, and more at providing solid company information to journalists and customers. According to 2005 surveys by Middleberg/Ross and the Pew Internet Project, 98% of journalists go online daily to:

conduct article research (92%)

find new sources and experts (76%)

find press releases (73%)

Moreover, of the 68 million Americans online in any day, 27% use online news channels. And some 27 million searches are made every month at Yahoo News, Google News or other news search engines.

The trends are reflected in the larger news bureaus. PR Web sends out 60,000-100,000 press release emails daily, and its web-related sites are among the top 2,500 most visited. PR Newswire reaches 22,000 media points in the US, and its articles are archived in over 3,600 web sites, databases and online services.

Press releases can be very effective. Marketing Experiments spent $990 on 7 press releases to generate 3,000 visitors — which compares favorably with ppc charges. The press releases also generated 6 interviews and increased their incoming links from 2,500 to 12,500.

Press Bureaus

Many press bureaus specialize in market sectors: you can find these with search engines and directories. Many of the following will be too expensive for writers, but provide good background information:

BusinessWire. Communications service for Public and Investor Relations professionals.

eRelease. Press releases: submissions $299, writing from $299, both from $499. Journalist resources, plus advice on writing and submission of press releases.

Internet News Bureau. $275 for submission to 13,000 journalists and business professionals; $80 for additional media.

News Bureau. Public relations firm that charges for press release creation and submission according to results.

Press1. Press release preparation and distribution. Several services, e.g. $179 for them to write, $99 for distribution to 2,500 magazines.

Press Release Network. Leading international news bureau. Many options, e.g. $1200 for global distribution.

PRNewswire. Press release services for the larger company: international.

URL Wire. Eric Ward's selective site review service for IT press.

XpressPress. Professional press services from $99.

General Advice

Don't neglect the listings for public relations and general marketing. Sites with information bearing on press releases:

 

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