basic press release format press release email example

When you send a press release, it’s a good idea to include a short outline of your idea (no more than a paragraph) and where you think it might fit in the publication you’re pitching to. Paste your press release underneath, as a busy journalist may not bother to an open an attachment. Photos can be helpful if they add something to the story, but avoid sending big files that will clog up peoples’ inboxes.
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Ideally, you want your press release to land in the recipient’s primary inbox. This is why you should not send bulk emails to hundreds of contacts. Using Mailchimp or another newsletter service will usually get your email categorized as a promotion, not primary inbox material. Even individual emails can end up in the spam folder if the sender’s email / domain is blacklisted. Check yours here:
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that depends on which media you are targeting, if you’re targeting media with an audience who will know the author then that should feature in your pitch. When you target media with a younger audience you’ll need to find an angle that they can relate to.
Simply put, if you are able to package information about your book into a format which grabs a journalist’s attention, make it so they don’t have to put much work into your article to publish it, and it seems like it would be of interest to their audience, then Bingo! You’ve won the holy grail of free publicity.
If your press release has gone onto a second page, you’ve probably got two or more stories. (Or you’ve padded it out with irrelevant, self-congratulatory quotes from ‘important’ people you’ve been told have to be included.)
I liked your information on all the best free Press Release sites and all The best Paid Press Release sites. I needed a press release done for me. When I contacted most of these you could not really get a real person. I had lots of questions and they all directed me to an email that I had to post my question on and they would reply via email. Even more incredible was the fact that a lot of theses sites wanted me to create a user name and password first. That to me is extremely annoying. I decided to gop with a site a friend recommended that was not on here. He told me the price was reasonable and you don’t have to sign up. While yes I also had to send an email, they contacted me within 5 minutes of my email. NO JOKE..Try it.. The site http://www.prunderground.com really helped me out and understood my needs. I have become a fan of theirs thank in part to their excellent customer service and great rankings for my release. I am surprised they are not listed on your list.
Thousands of news and releases go live daily. Not every author is aware that the bulk of these PR distributions end up undiscovered by desired reporters. Forbes magazine makes a startling statement. They state that the majority of businesses that publish a press release “wait for the inevitable flood of phone calls, emails and congratulations that never come. Even when they use a service like PR Newswire or Business Wire, many releases end up on page 67 of an independent TV station website in Reno, Nevada that few will ever read.”
Regardless of how you choose to structure it, it’s essential to ensure that the header stays succinct, clear, and easy to understand. This will help intrigue the reader without losing his or her attention in the process.
Hi Keith, thank you for the comment. This is all great insight and I appreciate you taking the time to post it here. Because both you and Craig posted similar comments, I want to make sure I clarify the intention of this post. This post is meant as a guide for how to correctly format a press release for general distribution using AP Style guidelines and other best practices. It is not meant to provide tips for how to contact writers. As you allude to in your post, and as I preach on my site, sending a template-driven message to every journalist you reach out to, is not a good idea. Each message you send should be personalized and tailored to the interests of that journalist’s audience. In regards to what format you use for your press release. Journalists have their preferences as to which format they like to receive press releases in. I’ve worked with writers that span the gamut on this. That said, I think your points about copying and pasting the text into the body of your email over a attaching a Word document are completely valid. When I recommended Word in the previous comment, I was speaking to the specific context of general distribution, i.e., when you submit your press release to sites like Games Press. (Games Press requests Word document attachments as its preferred method to receive press releases in it’s submission instructions to avoid running into copying and pasting issues: http://www.gamespress.com/about_howtosubmit.asp). Looking back on my comment, I think I could have been way clearer though 🙂 Apologies for that. Again, I appreciate both your and Craig’s input here. It’s great to hear this feedback straight from journalists.
Articles should be as up-beat and positive as possible. Avoid phrases like following the resignation of the previous chairman or after a period of inactivity. A journalist could decide to investigate those matters instead of reporting what is in the press release and—–even if the circumstances were completely innocuous, for instance if the chairman had resigned due to ill health—–the resulting copy might not be to your liking.
When you consider press releases, if it’s not a content format you’re familiar with, you might think of traditional methods, which include writing a press release and then working with journalists and local media outlets to ensure it’s distributed.

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