Thalasar Ventures

Press Release Tips

Press releases are a great way to build incoming one way links. They are also a way to get the press and blogs writing about your product or site. Of course most web marketers know next to nothing about how to write a press release or even how to interact with journalists. They don’t take the time to learn how to really pitch a story to a journalist or what’s even the best way to approach a journalist. That’s too bad because just learning a few simple rules can mean the difference between getting a story written about your project and a journalist putting you on a spam blacklist. Let’s go some of those rules so your next press release campaign can be a success.


Remember reporters have things to do as well
Most of them cover specific areas so make sure your release is pertinent to their industry focus. Buy a list of 15,000 journalists and then send them a spam email about your recipe site. I had someone recently cite this as success in their marketing efforts. It got them a single mention on radio show. That type of shotgun approach is a good way to completely ruin your good name with a reporter. That said, remember this . . .
A paper press release trumps an electronic one
It’s very tempting to fire off a quick electronic email to a list of journalists but with a bit more work you can be assured that your release will be more effective. A physical release sent to a newspaper or radio station followed up with a phone call to confirm reciept of the release. They may then ask for an electronic release.
Use a sniper rifle, not a shotgun
In the example above our first timer used the shotgun approach. While it got a tiny bit of press, he would have done better to first compile a list of EDITORS who cover his topic. Editors typically assign stories to reporters, not the other way around. They prefer physical press releases. They are a bit older. Furthermore by doing the legwork whether or not they cover your topic, you save everyone’s time.
Editors are looking for stories
Running a newspaper is a bit like blogging. You occasionally run short of ideas and need something to fill space. Your press release can lead to a story that fills that space. So take the time to learn what a press release looks like and how it should be written.
It’s not just for link building
Some people issue press releases just to build links. While it can be effective for that, every release should be written as though an editor is going to read it. Just writing a release and throwing it on PRWeb isn’t enough.
Don’t ignore local media
Small regional papers are especially important for businesses. They don’t have the staff of the larger dailies, so they actively looking for stories. Your local media contacts are especially helpful and given that every small paper also has an internet presence, it can lead to larger exposure for your site.
I am also including links to the top three sites on how to write a press release.

  1. How to write a press release at publicityinsider.com – Contains a sample format and what you should put in your release
  2. How to write a press release at lunareclipse.net – Especially helpful for newbies.
  3. How to write a press release at ehow.com – Covers a traditional release.

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4 Responses to “Press Release Tips”

  1. Your suggestions are great.
    May I add another resource to your list? I offer a free email tutorial called “89 Ways to Write Powerful Press Releases.” It emphasizes writing them not only for journalists, but for consumers and end users who can find them on the Web.
    If you stick with the course, by the time you’re done, it will be like getting a master’s degree in how to write press releases. You can sign up on the homepage of my website. Look for the red headline near my photo.

  2. Thanx I will definitely check it out. I am always looking for advice – even though my last campaign managed to get one of my sites mentioned in the New York Times. You can never recieve too many good ideas.

  3. @Brian – Thanks for the mention and link to PRWeb (note, no space in the name ;-) ). I agree there’s no reason to ignore local media even when using PRWeb.
    An under-used feature within PRWeb enables selecting metropolitan targets. These don’t restrict distribution to just the chosen areas but instead place an emphasis on those areas. Many in our audience (media, consumers, bloggers, etc.) specify a geographic preference for press releases they want to receive from us and this helps guide that.
    Even with that said, there’s no excuse to ignore local media.
    @Joan – Good to see you here!

  4. Changed and updated. We should probably do a post on the best way to use PRWeb. WIth the article I was trying highlight that people need to be more proactive with their public relations. Many times they don’t often bother with the metro release.