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RULE #5: Contact your top outlets personally. In addition to sending a press release, personally contact the reporters that you really want to cover the story. Send them something personal. You might even want to rewrite the press release to fit their beat.
This paragraph is your details paragraph. It is here that you give background, stories, history, information, or stats. This is where you paint a picture and bring in all the other stuff you want people to know about your announcement.
When 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.
It is different from an advertisement in the way that in an advertisement, you pay the media outlets and your matter is presented by the outlet the way you want it to; while in a news release, you just send a statement to the media outlet and they decide how to present your information and whether to do it at all or not.
When you’re writing a press release, samples can be hard to find and replicate. While press releases are an essential part of online marketing and digital communication, they’re tough to write, and few people understand their structure.
For example, we were pitching a summer concert series on behalf of one of our clients. Instead of sending out a media alert, we designed an oversized concert ticket and incorporated the information within. It ended up being a fun and an attention-grabbing way to relay the news – and got great coverage too!
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Convenience-based features available to free PR clients include email spam protection, the option to reserve your date of release, and options to manage your press release after submission, including editing or deleting it.
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What made this press release successful was the intersection of the exclusivity of the announcement (there were only a select few companies who were made official Shopify Plus partners in the first round, and we were one of them), the fact that it was newsworthy, and having a great partner tied into the announcement itself. The latter point was especially critical to the PR, and the notoriety of the Shopify brand really gave the release ‘legs’ in terms of how far it was distributed and the impact it made.
“While free press release sites are tempting, I’d advise not to use them for distribution. Google has labeled many of them as spam. If you have a good news release that is worth getting out, spend the money and distribute it through a reputable site such as Business Wire, PR Newswire or Marketwired,” comments Sara Callahan, owner of Carter West Public Relations.
At Media Minefield, we believe there are more effective ways to get the message to the media rather than press releases. That’s why we created a press release announcing the death of the press release (Headline: Death of the Press Release). We posted it on our website and on social media on April Fool’s Day as a #kiddingnotkidding.
Once you’ve set the scene, it’s time to bring your details to life with a quote that reporters can use for context around your announcement and help paint a picture of how your news affects the given industry, customer base, and landscape.