Wanting to share your good news? Perhaps you won an award for your writing; or maybe you have a presentation coming up. You could always contact your local newspaper and pay for an ad. However, a broader audience can often be found with a press release. A press release is basic information about your news or event you send to newspapers and interested groups or organizations. There is no cost involved in submitting a press release.
Sounds like a good deal, but there are caveats. Press releases are not always read by the recipients; and just because they read it, doesn’t mean they will print it. If they choose to publish your information, you have no control over how your information will be shared. They will likely, though, place it as a small article alongside similar articles.
To increase your chances of placement, take the time to find the name of the editor of the newspaper or the appropriate section editor of the newspaper. Send a separate e-mail to each outlet in which you would like your article placed and address it directly to the editor. Editors receive countless requests, so take the extra minute or two to briefly suggest how your press release will benefit their readers.
If you have a past association with the organization, mention that in the e-mail. For instance, colleges are interested in the success of their alumnae and will often share that information in an Alumni Newsletter or publication. We’ve even had press releases appear on the front page of a college’s website.
Although press releases are not guaranteed publication, spending a few extra minutes customizing your request can bring positive results.