No, Press Releases Are Not Out!

You might think that press releases are part of the old school PR way of doing things, that they have been pushed out of the way by blogs, email and even social media; but news releases, more specifically, online press releases are still alive and kicking.

Press releases are still a great FREE way to get publicity that you can use to get people to talk about you .  Although it is great to get people to talk about you through blogs whether it be your own blog or guest blogging; you can try to go a step further and get yourself known by using news releases to get your information out there and be seen by the news media.

There are a few rules that you need to consider when writing your release:

  1. Follow the basic press release template (Check out the press release template that I use.)
  2. Have a really great headline: Your headline needs to catch the attention of a media editor who already has hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of releases in front of her (or him); your’s needs to stick out.
  3. Write in the third person and in a journalistic style. Do not write as if the story has been written by you. This is not about you but about the news/the story and it’s surely not an ad for your services or business
  4. Add as much contact information as possible. It would really be a shame to do all this work and not have a means to be contacted by the people who wish to get in touch with you.
  5. If you are short on ideas for a subject, craft your press release around news that is already out there, for example in my case I was compelled to write about girls self- esteem and what can be done at a young age to support girls in their growth,  and how my business has set up a fund for this purpose.

Now that you have some ideas of what you should write and how, what  do you do with your press release when you are done writing it?

  • You can send it to your media list, if you don’t have one you can build one by watching and keeping track of reporters through Twitter or even their blogs; do make sure to actually entertain a relationship with them prior , no one wants to be a spammy friend.
  • You can send it to editors through online news distribution services which help put your press release directly in the hands of reporters and editors, for example: HARO (helpareporterout.com), Newswrire.ca, Writersnewsonly.com, Freepressrelease.com and also Google news.

These are just some of the websites that I use but there are so much more out there.

Don’t be discouraged if your news releases do not get picked the first or second time that you submit them. The more you submit your releases the more you have a chance of yours getting picked and thus creating your buzz!

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Pat RomainPat Romain owns an outsourcing firm vizionva.com where she helps entrepreneurs achieve more with their time by delegating. She also helps her clients by implementing the day to day tasks in their businesses. Pat lives in Montreal, loves twitter (@patromainva), blogging and is a yoga fanatic.

Comments

  1. Hi Pat,

    Great resource you just created – bookmarked!

    Thanks so much,

    Jenn

  2. Thanks Jenn, glad it helps you.

  3. Kudos, Pat. I have been writing press releases for a progressive nonprofit organization all month — and you’re on the money. Orgs write them, and the media dig them up.

  4. Do you think the services that say they’ll send your media release to lots of people such as PRMac or PRNewswire are useful? It breaks the “send them to people you have a relationship with” rule that you’ve listed but it seems like a useful shortcut! I don’t mean the obviously spammy/underhanded services, but I understand PRNewswire in particular is recognised as a legit news source.

  5. Hi Ricky,
    I do check out PRnewswire once in a while and I do like them, but I prefer sending my press releases to contacts that I have a relationship with. I guess its more of a preference for me, but such channels as PRMac and PRnewswire are great to spread your media releases to more people (but it does not mean that they will be picked though) or if you have no contacts in the media world.
    I hope my answer helped you a bit.

  6. Dave Doolin says:

    New doesn’t so much supplant ‘old’ media as enhance it.

    That being said, I much prefer my newspaper on screen. I can still feel the newsprint on my hands. From back in the day, natch.

  7. Christine Walker says:

    Thanks, great idea and really to the point. This is something that I could definitely do, and will.