A Press Release is a document or “pitch letter” sent to the media to announce a grand opening, product launch, event or story about your business. Reporters and journalists use these to build their media content.
Whether you’re a restaurant, retail store or spa, this is a great way to build local awareness. You want to pitch your story to the proper media channels (print, tv, radio) so they will write about it and ultimately drive traffic to your location.
The goal in crafting and distributing a Press Release is to get the media to write a story about the information you are providing them. There are several key steps.
Write Your Press Release
The first step is writing your Press Release. Think of this as your sales pitch letter but one that only include facts. While you want the reporter to cover your story, you need to make this about the reporter’s reader. What kind of story will the reporter want to write so that their readers read it? It should be written in the third person and should be attention-grabbing so the reporter/journalist wants to read more and write about it.
Here’s a great resource for help writing a Press Release from PR Newswire
Press Release Wizard
Compile Your Media List
You probably know the key TV, Radio, Newspapers and Magazines in your local market that you can target…the ones you use, and most importantly, the ones your customers and potential customers use.
If not, here are a few tools to help you compile our list.
Don’t forget to add online-only publications. Many cities have The Patch, Daily Candy and various other sites that are only online for readers.
Once you have your list of media outlets you want to contact, you’ll also want to identify the right reporter to send your press release to. Many “Contact Us” pages tell you the appropriate person by department. You can also read the sections that would cover you and look for the reporter’s name or just call the publication and ask for the appropriate person.
Distribute Your Press Release
Once you have your reporter list, you’ll want to either email, fax or mail your Press Release to them. When in doubt, call the reporter or their office to ask how they like to receive press releases. Many TV stations have a “Submit Your Press Release” button or section on the “Contact Us” page of their website.
Once you’ve distributed your press release, give the reporters a call in a few days to follow up and see if they have any questions you can answer.