When it comes to media releases, also known as press releases, there are mixed feelings as to whether or not they are worth the effort. If done right, they can be well worth the effort.
However, they can also be a complete waste of time for many people. To assure the greatest result for your efforts there are some essential ingredients to a well-written release.
Before I share what they are, let’s start with what a media release is. A media release is an announcement you distribute to various online locations such as directories, your blog, social networks, and forums. Traditionally press releases were “released” to newspapers and radio and TV stations, and you can do that as well. Public service announcements (PSAs) are also submitted as press releases.
Before you write your release, determine:
- Your target market
- Where your release needs to be viewed and what media outlet serves those locations; for example, a release about a catering service should be directed to a food editor
- The contact person at the media outlet (if applicable)
- The time frame for submission
- An attention-grabbing headline
- The who, what, when, where, why, and how that need to be included
- Appropriate quotes, research, and technical data
There are ample benefits to media release distribution:
- Market awareness
- Interview opportunities
Although the benefits are ample, don’t expect a flood of immediate traffic from your releases.
The Five Ws of Writing a Media Release
Not long ago I read an article in which the “expert” claimed that it’s not necessary to include the five Ws (who, what, when, where, and why) in a media release. Although not absolutely essential in all information you distribute, the five Ws are a great guide to use when developing a release. And most experts agree that including as much information as possible without overdoing it is advisable. To write a power-packed release, include:
- Who is involved – speaker, author, strategist, artist, etc.
- What is taking place
- When it is happening
- Where it will occur
- Why people would be interested in the information
To save a considerable amount of time, create a template for your media releases that can be used over and over. There is no need to reinvent the wheel each time you write one.
Write the most important information first. It is not uncommon for media resources to shorten your release. This is simply part of the process and nothing to worry about.
Newsworthy Items for a Media Release
In order to have a great success with your release being selected (especially when submitting to traditional media services), the more newsworthy the subject matter, the better. Below are a few ideas for your subject matter:
- Offering teleseminars or seminars – especially if they are free to the public
- Taking on a leadership role in a professional organization
- A special event open to the public
- A fundraiser
- Recognition in your field
- Special awards
- Release of a book or e-product
- Opening of an exhibit
- Performing an important service to the community
- Running for office
- Inventing, manufacturing, or offering a new product or service
- Being involved in a major news event
- Offering apprenticeships, training programs, classes, or opportunities to volunteer
- Winning a contest, sweepstakes, or lottery
- Opening a business
- Offering franchises of your business
Here are some less newsworthy items that might get published:
- Moving or opening a new branch
- Educational achievements (including attending work-related seminars)
- Hosting an open house
- Hiring or promoting employees
- Annual meetings and conventions
I’m an advocate of media release distribution online. There are unlimited locations you can post your releases including media in your local market, free online services and paid services such as PRWeb.
When I’m offering an event in my local market I use both distribution to my local media including radio, television and print, as well as my service with PRWeb.
Here are some examples of recent releases distributed via PRWeb.
PRWeb offers a free level but the paid service is much more effective with a greater reach to various media outlets including The Associated Press.
Why not give it a try? You never know who you might be visible to.
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