FAQ

FAQ

We have listed some of the answers to questions that we get asked regularly. If you don't find the answer to your question here please send your question to our support team who will be more than happy to provide you with an answer.

About MyPressportal

Advertising Rates on MyPressportal

MyPressportal statistics are roughly as follows **

  • 12400 unique visitors per month
  • 420000 page views per month
  • 55% of the visitors from South Africa

Advertising Informaiton
All the advertising is displayed as a static advert or random advert, depending on the location.

The advert can be static or animated graphic (jpeg or gif) which will redirect web surfers either to your website or a custom advert page created by MyPressportal.

Adverts appear on all pages, down the right hand column of the website.

Your Press Release on the Frontpage Slider

  • Monthly = R900.00
  • You need to supply the following: 
    - A graphic which is 656px wide and 165px high
    - The press release stays on for 1 month, then expires automatically.

Banner 300w x 250h (rotating option also offered)

  • Monthly = R475.00
  • 6 Month = R2565.00 (-10%)
  • 12 month = R4845.00 (-15%)

Banner 300w x 60h

  • Monthly = R195.00
  • 6 Month = R1053.00 (-10%)
  • 12 month = R1989.00 (-15%)

Banner 145w x 60h

  • Monthly = R135.00
  • 6 Month = R729.00 (-10%)
  • 12 month = R1377.00 (-15%)

Custom Page

  • R400 extra for the initial setup of the custom page.
  • Custom pages include: Logo, company text, link to your website, maximum 2 product/service images.

Conditions
- MyPressportal reserves the right to change any conditions for advertising on the website at anytime.
- All prices include VAT (South Africa)
- Rates are applicable for the term booked.
- Custom pages are terminated when advert term is reached.
- Rates increase annually.
- Adverts relating to PORNOGRAPHY, MOBILE JUNK, GET RICH Schemes etc, will NOT be accepted.
- Advert termination is by written request (email).
- We do not offer refunds on adverts placed.
- Invoices are issued through raramuridesign.

** Updated May 2007

Why do you publish press releases for free?

The aim of the site is to give all companies, from large corporates to small business the ability to go public with news of the products or services they have at anytime.

This site is solely for companies and NGO's from South Africa, and all press releases have to be South African related.

We do not plan to charge for this service in the future. :-)

How to manage account

I have registered but cannot login

If you are having troubles logging in there are normally two reasons for this. One your account is not active. In this case, please email us with your email address and we will activate your account. This normally happens to first time users who have not activated their account. The second reason is when your username and password do not match. In this case, use the reset password function to reset your password.

How do I change my username on my account?

Once your username is set in the system it remains like this. We can only change the username under special circumstances. If you would like the name changed, ie the one that appears on your profile, you can edit this when you are logged in, simply click on edit your profile.

How to submit press releases

How do I add a press release?

These are the steps you will need to follow to start submitting press releases to MyPressportal.

REGISTER - You will need to register on the site. Once you have accepted the email confirmation you will have access to the site.

LOGIN - Enter your username and password which you supplied at registration to login.

How to write a press release

This is a short guide which will help you compose your own press release.

Note: this guide is set as a standard for all press releases. You can of course hire a professional PR company to do this for you.

By following these guidelines, your article will be better recognised by our readers, and we will be able to publish this faster.

Why are press release important?

  • - Press releases are read by journalists.
  • - If a release catches their eye, they might write an article about it, thus getting your company's name mentioned in the media.
  • - Journalists are grateful if you make their work easier.
  • - Do not formulate an advertising text - write in a style that can be printed in a newspaper.

The structure of a press release

  • - Content
  • - Style
  • - Sample press release

Content
What’s the story?
It’s important to think about the story you want to get across. Your press release should be focused on an event that your group has organised or something that you have done.

The first release you write might report your group’s initial meeting and what you hope to achieve. You should draw attention to the fact that you’re a new campaign group. Set out your specific aims and emphasise how you differ from other similar groups. If possible, indicate the breadth of support that there is for your cause.

The press releases that follow should focus on new stories, not just restatements of what your group believes. You should time these to coincide with an event, like a public meeting, demonstration or handing in a petition, or a bigger news story, like the implementation of a new law.

Getting the facts straight
You need to describe the facts of your story clearly. If you are writing a press release about an event you have organised, you need to say what the event is and where and when it is taking place. You also need to explain who you are and why you have organised the event.

Essential details

  • - Identify the document: Put the words PRESS RELEASE at the top.
  • - Date of release: Add the date and time that you wish your release to be published. Include the words FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE if you want your story to be reported straight away.
  • You may want some of the information embargoed, i.e. held back from publication until a later time or date. For example, if you are going to make an important announcement at a public meeting, you might want to tell journalists about it in advance to capture their interest and to give them time to prepare their stories. But it might reduce the impact of your announcement if it has been reported in advance. You can embargo your whole press release or just a part of it and you can specify the precise time when you want the story to be made public.
  • - Contact details: Make sure you provide your name, home and mobile phone numbers, email and website address.
  • - Use quotes: Quotes from people involved in your campaign will really help liven up your release, but make sure they are concise and relevant.
  • - Pictures: Though it is not essential, you could include photos of your group. This will remind the press that you are a living campaign, not just a piece of paper. It might also encourage television crews to come to your event, especially if there are obvious visual draws.

Style
Getting the style right is crucial if you want journalists to take notice of your press release.

Headlines
You should start with an eye-catching headline. Journalists think in sound-bites, so use the most exciting, attention-grabbing part of the event to sell the story. Focus on what is new and what is happening at the moment.

Opening paragraph
Your opening paragraph must explain the headline – but with a bit more detail. It should highlight the main news point clearly and vividly. The opening often makes or breaks the entire release, so the first 20 or 30 words are crucial.

Each paragraph used thereafter should go down in order of relevance. Think of an inverted pyramid of information, with the most important points at the top.

Other points to consider:

  • - Use campaign headed paper if you have it
  • - Avoid going over a single page
  • - If there is room, use double spacing so sub-editors can write their instructions in the spaces
  • - Reiterate the key points at the end
  • - Read and check your release and get someone else to check it as well

Sample press release


Trumpton Residents’ Association
Tel: 01444 555 313
www.trumptonra.org.uk

PRESS RELEASE
11 November 2003

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Families fight dangerous dogs

Members of the Trumpton Residents’ Association will hold a demonstration outside Meldrum’s Kennels on Saturday 16 November.

Families are outraged at the kennel’s management who continue to allow violent dogs to roam the streets of Trumpton despite several nasty incidents.

The demonstration will begin at 11.00 and will end at 13.00 at the main entrance on Mill Lane. A crowd of at least 50 is expected.

Local head teacher Pamela Walton will be supporting the protest and will make a short speech.

‘It is atrocious that the kennel’s owners have done nothing to address this problem’, she says. ‘I have been confronted by aggressive dogs from the kennel myself and it was absolutely terrifying.’

Sue Craig, a resident of Willow Road, has seen the damage that the dogs can do.

‘My nine-year-old son was savaged by a ferocious dog. He had to spend two days in hospital because of the attack. The dogs should be kept properly locked up or the kennel should be closed.’

Members of the association have also called for a meeting with officials from Borsetshire County Council to discuss the problem. It is vital that someone in a position of authority acts now to prevent any further injuries.

Notes for editor
Sue Craig and her son will be available for photographs and interviews at the demonstration. Trumpton Residents’ Association holds public meetings on the first Tuesday of every month in the village hall.

Contact details:
Mike Riordan, Secretary, 01444 555 313, mobile 07722 555231, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Karen Holding, Chair, 01444 555 861


The above guide is copyright bbc.co.uk

How do I delete my press release?

Contact us with your press release Title & link.

How do we published our press release or submit?

In order to submit a press release, you will need to create an account. Once you login you will be able to submit, view and edit your press releases.

My press release won't save! / Technical issues

If you are experiencing any technical issues, please get in touch with us as soon as possible via our contact page. Describe the issue and we will assist as soon as possible.

Has my press release been accepted or do I need to do something further?

If you have submitted a press release and it has been accepted, you will be notified via email if this has been added to the site.

If the release was not accepted, we do NOT notify you.

General Questions

How much would it cost us to submit our Press release and if there is any cost involved and what is the process?

Press Release is free.
NOTE: Press Release are South African related.

Click here to Register.
If you already have registered, please Login here.

Can I display a press release article on my website?

We do allow articles to be copied and or referenced on your website. We request that you credit the author and a link back to the main website (pressportal.co.za) or a direct link to the article.

Can we get statistics and user usage from Pressportal.co.za?

We do not provide statistics about our website.

If you are interested in the general readership, please refer to these links from our social media profiles.

https://twitter.com/mypressportal
https://www.facebook.com/mypressportal
https://plus.google.com/b/105422946485825952335/105422946485825952335/posts

Our newsletter which goes to readers every week, also has a high readership, and the number of users we cannot share either.

If you want to get insight into the traffic stats, please refer to this website

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/pressportal.co.za

Can I also place an ad for my company on MyPressportal?

Yes.
We offer you the possibility of placing a banner, on MyPressportal.

Please contact us here for more information.

Can I email my press release?

Yes.
Please use this online form for sending your press releases, if you are not a registered user.

Do you also compose press releases for us?

Yes.

AlterSage can assist in building and maintaining your company's public image through professionally written press releases. Since well written press releases are essential in promoting your business, Altersage takes care to give you the service you want, writing press releases customised to suited your company's image and target market.

You may contact us using the following for a quotation:

Contact form
Please supply us the following: Size of Company, Type of company, what you do, services and/or products, who/where you service, Company history, when established, any major changes or additions, Website address, email addresses, News relating to the press release, Company Name, Contact details, and further info you would like mentioned in the press release. This will help us put a quote together for you.

We look forward to establishing a mutually beneficial relationship.
Christine da Silva and the AlterSage Team.

Formatting advertising media press release, here are fundamentals to follow

Each and every day, you follow certain formatting criteria. Whether you're jotting down a note to a family member, or sending an email to your boss, you probably follow some general method of placing and styling your words.

Most media departments require their reporters and freelancers to follow particular guidelines for submissions before they will even consider reviewing your work. In ,,infect, most are so eager to ensure that everything stays within their procedures, that they will send you a copy of their guidelines, or a stylebook, for free!

Additionally, most media will send you a sample of their publication for a nominal fee, along with the guidelines. If you look in any Writers Market, which includes submission rules for almost every print media in existence, you'll find that most strongly suggest that you send off for their guidelines, and review a current copy of the publication, before you put your ideas in the mail.

The same holds true for any press release. Even though it is a news item, presumably void of any boasting or advertising mechanisms, each publication will have its own style and tone of writing the news.

A stylebook will answer any questions you have as to the publications preferred way of writing. It will tell you if the editor wants the number twelve written in word form, or numbers (12). It will inform you as to whether or not possible compound words are to be combined, or hyphenated.

A stylebook also addresses specific word choice questions that will tell you if the targeted media fancies the word Vietnam or the words Viet Nam. It tackles issues such as capitalization, title specifics, time, dates, and names.

Even if a publication doesn't have any required formatting guidelines, be sure to adhere to some type of professional style, so that your submission will project a more qualified appearance.

Here are some indispensable rules of conformity that will ensure you have the basics down before you launch your press release campaign into existence:

1) Disclosing the Deliveries
Whether its an article or a press release, the media want to be the first to receive and dispense of the news. One very important aspect in delivering your release is to state on the cover whether or not you have simultaneously submitted your information.

No publication wants to print the same item that another one is printing at the same time, or worse, before them. The idea behind the media is to be the first, and be the best. Depending on whom you talk to, you'll find that normally, its perfectly fine to send in your item to more than one publication, as long as you disclose it. That way, you're giving ample notice to the recipients that they might want to find out if another source has published it first.

The news industry is highly competitive, and as such, you have a responsibility to adhere to their courtesies as well as their formatting principals. Some may insist on being the sole addressee for your item. If so, weigh the options you have, and decide if its best to stick to a sole source, or submit it to more than one publication. Whatever you do, do not lie to them and sneak off additional copies to their competitors. If word gets back to the original source, you can count yourself (and the company for which you're writing), out of any future publishing credentials with that particular media.

If you find that your news item is one that should be submitted to only one source at a time, then prepare a list, in order of importance, of whom you wish to have first dibs on your publishing rights. Once you hear back from each source, feel free to submit it to the next in line.

Sometimes, this may not be practical, if the information is of a timely nature. Always include a SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) to each publication, so that you'll get a response. Not all editors will waste their own materials in getting back to you.

Additionally, some media will be very receptive to the idea of your submitting the story to two different forms of media outlets. Most print publications will be content if you send one copy to the local state paper, and another to the top radio station in your area.

2) Perfect Your Timing
When delivering a press release to the media, its very important to ensure your timing is perfect. Not only when the paper or other form of media might have the best use for it, but also what works for your news.

If the company that's hired you is launching a new website or product on July 31st, don't wait until that day to send in your press release. Send it in early enough so that the editor has plenty of time to decide if he wants to use the story on the day of, or the day before, the debut. The editor may need time to verify your facts and sources, or simply rewrite certain parts of your press release to conform to their own style and format.

Since you never know what the editor will decide, avoid using terms like today, or tomorrow, in your submission. Instead, use specific dates, such as March 3. If you're not sure what the typical lead time is, in other words, how far in advance the editor prefers to have the story in his hands, make a quick call and find out. Most staff members are very familiar with the deadlines and turnaround time the paper needs to develop its stories.

3) Give Me My Space, Please!
Scientists say that humans need at least three feet of personal space to be at a maximum comfort level. Well, press releases need space, too! It may seem excessive when printed out on paper, but an editor will greatly appreciate it if you format your page so that it allows for double, if not, triple spacing.

When as editor receives your story, reviews it, and decides that he wants to look into it further, he needs to have space on your printed copy to make notes, changes, and additions to your work. Your paperwork will probably be moving between personnel, so its a great idea to give them room to work!

Paper quality should be considered as well. Use a standard white 8 - by 11-inch high quality bond paper. Type your submission in 12-point font, in a style that is easy to read, such as Times New Roman. Print your press release on a desk-jet or laser quality printer for the best appearance.

Position your story a third of the way down the page, after presenting your contact information, headings, and specific dates. Once you begin your main content, make sure you left-justify your work so that the editor has room in the right margin to make further notations, if necessary.

Always maintain at least a one-inch margin on every edge of the paper. If your press release has more than one page, be sure to write continued, or more, at the bottom of each previous page.

If you do wind up with more than one page, be sure to identify your work on each additional page by writing your last name, and the title of the story in the upper left-hand corner. If you want to, you can also number the pages, beginning on page two of your submission.

When you have more than one page, use more than one page to print on! Never send your work printed on both sides of the paper. And remember, as netiquette rules suggest, never type in all capital letters. Its considered shouting, and for print work, it makes it difficult to read. Stick to the elementary formatting, and you'll keep the editors eyes happy.

4) Crossing Your is and Dotting Your is
Some things to double-check before you submit your work for publication:

  1. Did I use the right tense and keep it uniform throughout the press release? Try to keep your press release in the Active voice. Instead of using the Passive voice, saying: A meeting will be held on Monday night, try using The organization will meet on Monday night.
  2. Are my abbreviations, if used, correct? Many organizations use acronyms, so the media have devised a way to employ the practice in their reporting. The general rule is to completely spell out the name on the initial reference, such as: Federal Bureau of Investigation, followed by the acronym FBI in any following mentions of the organization throughout the story.
  3. Have I capitalized Proper nouns and brand names? Always avoid capitalizing any words that do not require it. Use capitals for proper nouns, names, and specific popular areas that the community will generally understand as being a certain region.
  4. Are any numbers, lower than 10 spelled out in word form? One rule of thumb for numerical references is that very small and very large numbers are never written in figure format. Instead of writing 1 you would write one. And you would refer to fifteen thousand in word form, not as 15,000.
  5. Have I excluded the use of any time specific words, such as today or tomorrow? If you accidentally include the use of one of these types of words, it will usually be eliminated from the content. The only time it is appropriate to use these is when a media sector is speaking of something that has already happened. Normally, this occurs in an afternoon paper, which reports on the happenings that took place earlier in the day.
  6. Are my courtesy titles for each person mentioned in my press release correct? For example, am I correct in assuming it is Mrs. instead of Ms? Most media do not even use courtesy titles at this date, preferring instead to simply refer to the person as Jane Doe, initially, and Doe from that point on in the story. But, depending on your target medias guidelines, you'll need to make sure that if you did use courtesy titles, that you've used them properly.
  7. Have I omitted any use of sexist language, such as policeman or fireman, and instead, made them gender-neutral? Traditionally, certain jobs were gender-specific, such as those on the police force or fire fighting staff. Now, a fire-fighter can be male or female, so the title has evolved to reflect the new change.
  8. Have I succeeded in not using any words of fluff that would make my work appear to be biased to the public, such as best, or wonderful? One of the biggest mistakes public relations departments make when submitting a press release, in hopes of getting news coverage, is in turning their news into an advertisement. Look at your press release from the public viewpoint, and see if you think they might misconstrue any information you've added to look unbiased in their eyes.
  9. Is my work addressed to the correct personnel, and furthermore, is my own contact information correct? One critical mistake some inexperienced writers make is addressing their work to the wrong personnel. Worse, some even send it to a staff member who hasn't worked for the publication in years! An editor can only assume your work is sloppy if you fail to make a quick phone call to verify your contact information.
  10. Have I used my spell-checker, and then reviewed the document with my own eyes for proper word usage? Be sure to watch out for words that the computerized spell-checker might not catch. If you wish to say, For the next two years, make sure it doesn't read Four the next two years. Have another person read your press release before sending it in, to catch any errors that you might fail to spot.

5) Wrap It Up!
Formatting doesn't end with font styles and page settings. Sending in your submission has a rule of its own, and everyone should follow the basic procedure courtesies.

If your press release is more than one page in length, never ever staple your pages together. Either number your pages with proper identification (in case any page gets separated from the others), or use a paper clip to fasten them to one another. A staple is only going to make the editor either rip the pages apart, or go through the hassle of trying to find a staple remover on his already-cluttered desk of unsolicited submissions.

There is no need to send your work in any fancy method. Unless its a time-sensitive piece, don't use overnight carriers that will require personnel-specific signatures. Simply use standard sized packaging, and refrain from writing messages on the outside of the envelope it either wont be read, or it will make an unprofessional impression.

Proper formatting is the easiest way to gain the trust of an editor. If everything looks good from first glance, then he or she is going to march forward in giving your document a careful consideration on whether or not they wish to include your work in an upcoming issue.

How long will our article remain on the welcome page?

Your press release will be on the frontpage until a new release is published in that specific category.

However, on the category pages, your realease will remain visable in the top 10 until it rolls down to the links in each category.

The press release article is then available under the category under which you posted it. It will remain here indefinitely.

If you would like your article removed, please email us your request, include the following information:

  • - Article title
  • - Date it was published
  • - Link to the article
  • - Reason for removal

How to use our RSS-Feed?

Below are links to the press categories and the main page of MyPressportal. By clicking on a link you will then get the information and the link you can use in your RSS reader and/or on your website.

What is RSS? - Really Simple Syndication

Our RSS feeds can be used to keep up-to-date with all the news that is published on www.sagoodnews.co.za. The new content will be fed to you instead of you needing to search for it.

To use the feeds you will need a RSS reader. A program known as a RSS reader or aggregator can check a list of feeds on behalf of a user and display any updated articles that it finds.

Where can I get a RSS reader from?

RSS Readers can be downloaded free here:

RSS Owl - www.rssowl.org 
Feedreader - www.feedreader.com

Alternatively, use a web or browser based feed reader, such as

iGoogle - www.google.com/ig 
Google Reader - www.google.com/reader 
Bloglines - www.bloglines.com

For more information on RSS feeds, visit Wikipedia

Is it actually worth publishing our releases on MyPressportal?

Yes!
MyPressportal recieves a growing number of visitors a day and has a steadily increasing number of subscribers to our RSS Feed.

We are also being viewed on a daily basis by journalists who work for companies such as

  • - iAfrica
  • - IOL
  • - News24
  • - Supersport
  • - Mail & Guardian online
  • - Sunday Times
  • - SABCnews.com
  • - SABC stations and channels
  • - The Star
  • - Beeld
  • - Sowetan
  • - Sunday Times
  • - City Press
  • - Burger
  • - Cape Times
  • - Argus
  • - Daily News
  • - Business Day
  • - Business Report
  • - The Herald
  • - Daily Dispatch
  • - Daily Sun
  • - Sunday Independent
  • - Various radio statios around the country

MyPressportal is a Free press release System for South Africa

Mypressportal.co.za is a Free Press release system for any South African related business or venture. This can be in the form of a large company to a self employed person.

You can submit a press release for anthing such as:

  • - new products
  • - new services
  • - appointed people
  • - events
  • - starting of new companies
  • - fund raising
  • - etc etc... the list is endless

As long as it is South African orientated.

We do not accept any press releases which offer products or services for another country.

If you are unsure, please contact us with an example and we will be able to screen this for you. Contact.

Place your press release in the right newspapers, magazine and internet...

Finding the perfect medium for your press release is as simple as figuring out your target market. The good thing about a press release is that it can take many different forms and be sent to a variety of media outlets.

Finding the perfect medium for your press release is as simple as figuring out your target market. The good thing about a press release is that it can take many different forms and be sent to a variety of media outlets.

 Here, well address the various forms of media, and how they might benefit your organizations ultimate goals and strategies.

Magazines
Magazines, like any other media outlet, have their own rules and guidelines for submission, and they cringe whenever you embark on a path that deviates from their cause.

If you're a public relations official, you're probably used to creating a basic press release in a effort to notify the editor of your news, and let him take it from there. However, submitting your information to a magazine is more like crafting an article as an outsider.

With a press release, you're probably targeting a trade magazine some specific publication that caters to a specialized topic of interest. For instance, if your client is about to launch a new convertible solar powered car, you'll want to send it to an automobile trade magazine, not Woman's Weekly.

When you make the decision to submit to a magazine of any kind, go out and purchase the writers must-have guide the Writers Market. This book is updated each year to contain almost every listing you can imagine for publishers, agents, and your target magazines.

Each year, the magazines receive a questionnaire from Writers Market, which they then complete and return to the books publishers. At press time, the magazines are divided into categories such as Women's, Trade, Romance, Mystery, etc. You simply flip to the genre of your choice, and there it will tell you all of the guidelines to follow when submitting your information.

Since magazines are looking for articles, its great if you can simply query them with an already-completed article about the new product or service your client is offering. Like newspapers, a magazine wont be interested in an advertisement that reads, Try the best face cream ever invented! They have an ad department for this type of content, and they charge heavily for it.

Instead, approach it as a consumer-informative document. Do some research, compare it to the other products, but don't lie about the results. The magazine probably has a fact-checking department that will call your bluff if you provide false information, and they may even include you in a negative article if you try anything tricky.

The most important thing to remember when approaching a magazine is know your target! Do not write them a stuffy business-like article if they speak in slang and poke fun of society. Request a back issue, or study their current publication to get a feel for their tone and style.

Then, make sure your idea hasn't been done before or least, recently. If your organization is doing something beneficial for the community, such as building a home for a family who lost everything, angle your story around a person who is organizing the campaign, and send it in as a human-interest piece.

Radio
Radio is a great way for your company to get a short mention or blurb in the community. It is not, however, the most effective way to reach your audience. Too many people change the station when the music stops, and the radio DJs have to keep up a fast pace, so they don't have time to waste on one subject in particular.

Normally, its easier to purchase radio space as an ad, rather than try to get a quick mention from the producer on your news. However, if its an event that your company is sponsoring, it is a great idea to approach the station in an attempt to have them co-sponsor it.

If your company is having a fundraiser for the needy, and will have live bands and food, with family generated activities, many radio stations would love to be onsite, reporting directly from the event in an effort to interact with the community.

They gain from those situations, too, since their staff will be on hand mingling with the audience and giving away bumper stickers and t-shirts. You'll benefit because their listeners will know of your event prior to it happening, and many will attend just to be a part of the stations activities and giveaways.

The perfect medium is whatever your target audience enjoys most, and what they spend the most time on. If you're seeking to target affluent individuals who are community-conscious, then the newspaper is a great way to reach them.

If the blue-collar worker might generate a more pro-active approach in benefiting from your piece, then the radio is a perfect way to interact with that sector of the community. Everyone has different methods of communicating.

No matter what, investigate the possibility of distributing your news to as many different outlets as you can. The more people you reach, the higher the chances of success are for whatever event or product you're touting.

Bear in mind that not every producer or editor will see the significance in delivering your information to his or her audience. Therefore, before you present your items to them, develop it with that particular medium in mind.

Press releases for newspapers & magazine Advertising

The media will begin judging your press release from the moment they remove it from the envelope, lift it off the fax machine, or click on their email. First impressions are of utmost importance, so you'd be wise to make sure its aesthetically pleasing.

The media will begin judging your press release from the moment they remove it from the envelope, lift it off the fax machine, or click on their email. First impressions are of utmost importance, so you'd be wise to make sure its aesthetically pleasing.

Follow proper formatting standards such as typing and font colour and size. Don't get too cute and send it in on rainbow paper to make a splash. You'll make a splash all right deep into the wastebasket! They've seen it all, but what it boils down to is newsworthy or not.

Your first contact with the media should always accomplish the following:

  • - Get the editors attention
  • - Easily identify your topic
  • - Showcase your news writing abilities
  • - Provide verifiable source materials and contacts

Include several easy ways for the editor or reporter to reach you should they have any questions or want a more in-depth article written about your product or services.

If you don't pique the audiences attention from the very first sentence, you may have lost them forever. An editor cannot possibly scan each and every press release sent to them to figure out what the writer is trying to say.

Make their job easier by stating the facts, but do it in a way that makes it a headline topic. Instead of titling your release, New real estate site launched, try something like Home Base Plus emerges triumphant in the battle of technology versus service. Its catchy, and the lead sentence can clearly explain what the title hints. Chances are, your headline will be changed anyway, but hook the editors eye from the beginning.

Don't try to impress the reader with overly expressive adjectives or superlatives. They'll only be edited out, and it gives your press release a phone tone, like that of an advertisement, as opposed to a factual news item.

Resist the urge to boast about your product or services. Offer the vital information about the who, what, when, where, and why, and let the reader take a proactive approach in discovering its benefits from that point on.

Using quotes from experts or management personnel within the company or industry offers credibility to your press release. Media contacts love to be able to attribute a name to the concepts or opinions found within the piece, so choose wisely, and pick the most authoritative figure possible. Instead of using a positive quote from one of your customers, have the President of the corporation say a few words.

If you're sending in a press release about a soon to be launched website, or a newly formed company, be sure to include a direct contact name, phone number, and email address if possible, so that a reporter can easily find you if he or she has any questions about the information.

While the media are constantly competing amongst themselves to be the first to report (or scoop) headline news, contributors are competing to be that news. Give yourself a head start by learning the publications style, and respectfully submit your item to the appropriate contact.

Before you send anything, ask yourself the following questions:

Did I follow the proper formatting styles seen in a recent issue? Does it need to be rewritten by the editorial staff, or did I manage to develop a clear and concise document?

  • - Is my information timely? Is it news, or advertising?
  • - Does it affect the majority of the publications audience?
  • - Are my facts correct, and verifiable?
  • - Is it objective, or have I approached the topic in a biased manner?
  • - Have I cut out any unnecessary information or boasting, so that it appears like any other news item?
  • - Is the press release reader-friendly? Did I use the word embark where I could have used go? Did I use any hype words such as exhilarating, or thrilling?
  • - Did I include my contact information so that the editor can easily contact me if he or she has any questions?
  • - Does the press release urge readers to take a proactive approach in contacting the company or organization for further information?

Once you understand the media mindset, its easier to conform to their standards and expectations. Many times, contributors and editors are at odds because they simply don't understand where the other is coming from. More often than not, an editor has been in the shoes of a contributor, and he or she now understands why editors work the way they do.

The news industry is a rushed and hurried environment, and like other staff departments, anything you can do to alleviate the stress of deadlines and tight spaces will be greatly appreciated. The more you work with your local news, the more receptive they'll be when it comes time to consider one of your press releases. If they can rely on you to follow simple procedures, leaving them with minimal follow-up work, then they'll most likely be eager to hear what it is you have to say in the future.

Remember that you, as a contributor, and the editor, who makes the decisions, rely on each other for information and coverage. Without press releases, he may not be able to fill up the space in his paper. And without the editor, you wont have the news you wish to get in front of the readers reaching anybody.

Public relations officials, and others who write and distribute press releases, sometimes feel dejected when their item doesn't make it into print over another similar piece. But the editor looks at it from a newsworthy standpoint. Which press release, out of the hundreds, or thousands received each day, has what it takes to be worthy of their readers time and attention? Craft your release well, and you'll raise your chances of publication immensely.

Sending press releases & to right media publication news communication

Finding the perfect medium for your press release is as simple as figuring out your target market. The good thing about a press release is that it can take many different forms and be sent to a variety of media outlets.

Finding the perfect medium for your press release is as simple as figuring out your target market. The good thing about a press release is that it can take many different forms and be sent to a variety of media outlets.

Here, we'll address the various forms of media, and how they might benefit your organizations ultimate goals and strategies.

Newspaper
This is the source most people think of when we speak about submitting a press release. Its the oldest form of communication in civilized societies across the world. Some people think the newspaper is a widely outdated form of communication, and that the number of readers diminishing will ultimately be the downfall of the paper entirely.

There are many different forms of newspapers depending on the region you're seeking to publish in. If your client is large enough, like IBM or Starbucks, then you have a chance at making national headlines when you have something of importance to say that will affect the countries readership.

If you are able to send press information to one of the national publications, such as USA Today, or possibly a city-specific paper that has a national following, such as the Washington Post or New York Times, chances are, someone on their staff already has their eye on you. The sooner you form an amicable relationship with one of the staff, the more smoothly your press release will be processed in the news department.

The Associated Press (AP) is the main conglomerate when it comes to media publication. Almost every paper in the country, from large nationwide papers, to small community setups, has a direct link to the AP for the most prominent news available. If the story you're delivering has local implications, you can look up the AP bureau for your state in the states capitol.

However, if your client has impending information that is suitable for national headlines, you can send your press release to AP's General/National Desk or International Desk at Associated Press, 50 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10020. This news wire feeds 24 hours a day into most news departments around the world, so your item, if applicable to their audience, will be picked up immediately.

Of course, if you only have reason to publish your clients press in the local paper, by all means, send it to the correct editor of that publication first. Most larger newspapers are now published free online, in addition to their print counterparts, so don't be disappointed by the statistics that warn of the decline of print journalism. It isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Television
Perhaps the most influential of all media sources, television allows its audience to experience news in the most realistic way. When we turn on the TV, a reporter stands in the midst of the scene, allowing us to hear, see, and feel (emotionally) what is going on around him.

His description of the events cannot compare to what our own eyes and ears consume. Thankfully, news shows don't only have to report on the worst life has to offer. They bring us the news about everything that will directly impact our lives for the better or worse in the timeliest fashion.

Like an editor, a producer will be the one who decides what is newsworthy to his audience. But for a producer, the value doesn't end there. A producer wants to know if there is live footage he can shoot when the report is brought to the eyes of the public.

Is there any way for him to directly interview one of your contact sources for his show? Even better, can it be an exclusive? News competition is fierce, with some starting their broadcast earlier than others, just to be the first to bring you the information.

Local news is dramatically different from cable news channels. Stations such as CNN, a 24-hour news source headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, that has up-to-the-minute coverage of everything from International terrorism to sports and entertainment, are strong competition for local channels. If your news makes it on CNN, chances are, it'll be on your local channel later that evening.

Like the newspaper outlet, television stations have current, constantly-updated Internet websites devoted to keeping their customers informed at all times. If your press release makes it to the news, then it will also probably be included on their main website as well.

Since the producers are trying to keep their audience tuned in to see their advertisers, the press release introductions they receive will be written in a completely different style than the print form. In a print form, you have to get to the point quickly, in order to maintain your readers interest, and keep them tuned into your message.

The opposite is true for a television broadcast. Its unlikely that any reporter is going to tell you all of the facts in their very first sentence, when they could string you along for the rest of the broadcast.

The producers are much more concerned with the live feed going into your home than they are the actual content, although that, too, is of great importance. A producers job is to bring the news to the public in an interesting, aesthetically pleasing method. So he has to concentrate on putting a scene together with your content.

The Internet
As we've already seen has a tremendous impact on the reach of the media. Not only do traditional media outlets utilize the far-reaching grasp of the Internet to feed their audience on a constant basis, but there are thousands of other Internet-based organizations that provide the public with information without the means of print or video feed.

One good place to start is with each Internet Service Provider (ISP) that you can think of. For instance, when a member signs onto America Online (AOL), the first screen to pop up is an interactive news source. Usually, they tend to concentrate on entertainment, but that all depends on which Service Provider your targeting.

for instance, greets its members with the latest interesting news feature. And from there, members can click on the item of choice that interests them, therefore, customizing their news.

More and more sites now offer a running banner of news for their customers, feeding our insatiable appetite for live feeds into the most fascinating aspects of our world.

The Internet not only provides you with a basic format to spread the word of your news, but it allows you to present that information in a variety of ways. Text is almost always accompanied by another means of communication, such as audio or video stream, graphics, or pictures.

This method of media distribution means your viewers will be able to learn more with the click of a button. You can link them back to your website, where its a good idea to store a page of recent press release information, or other announcements. Or, provide your viewers a chat or message area so that you can gage the consumers reaction to your press release on the spot.

In order to participate at the maximum capacity in the Internet world of news, its best if you stay up-to-date on your technology and cater your news to the people who might be viewing it online educated, white-collar workers who are looking for fast information, with a high-quality feel to it.

If you're technology-impaired, now is the time to sign up for a class and learn the ins and outs of basic Internet communication. The World Wide Web is a vast source of communication outlets that lets you reach an unlimited audience within seconds.

South African Press Code of Professional Practice

Preamble
The basic principle to be upheld is that the freedom of the press is indivisible from and subject to the same rights and duties as that of the individual and rests on the public's fundamental right to be informed and freely to receive and to disseminate opinions.

The primary purpose of gathering and distributing news and opinion is to serve society by informing citizens and enabling them to make informed judgments on the issues of the day.

The freedom of the press to bring an independent scrutiny to bear on the forces that shape society is a freedom exercised on behalf of the public.

The public interest is the only test that justifies departure from the highest standards of journalism and includes:

a. detecting or exposing crime or serious misdemeanour; 
b. detecting or exposing serious anti-social conduct; 
c. protecting public health and safety; 
d. preventing the public from ebing misled by some statement or action of an individual or organisation; 
e. detecting or exposing hypocrisy, falsehoods or double standards or behaviour on the part of public figures or institutions and in public institutions.

The code is not intended to be comprehensive or all embracing. No code can cover every contingency.  The press will be judged by the code's spirit - accuracy, balance, fairness and decency - rather than its narrow letter, in the belief that vigilant self-regulation is the halmark of a free and independentpress.
 
In considering complaints the Press Ombudsman and Appeal Panel will be guided by the following:

1. Reporting of News
1.1 The press shall be obliged to report news truthfully, accurately and fairly. 
1.2 News shall be presented in context and in a balanced manner, without an intentional or négligent departure from the facts whether by: 
1.2.1 distortion, exaggeration or misrepresentation; 
1.2.2 material omissions; or 
1.2.3 summarisation

1.3  Only what may reasonably be true having regard to the sources of the news, may be: presented as facts, and such facts shall be published fairly with due regard to context and importance.  Where a report is not based on facts or is founded on opinions, allegation, rumour or supposition, it shall be presented in such manner as to indicate this clearly.

1.4  Where there is reason to doubt the accuracy of a report and it is practicable to verify the accuracy thereof, it shall be verified.  Where it has not been practicable to verify the accuracy of a report, this shall be mentioned in such report.

1.5 A newspaper should usually seek the views of the subject of serious critical reportage in advance of publication; provided that this need not be done where the newspaper has reasonable grounds for believing that by doing so it would be prevented from publishing the report or where evidence might be destroyed or witnesses intimidated.

1.6  A publication should make amends for publishing information or comment that is found to be harmfully inaccurate by printing, promptly and with appropriate prominence, a retraction, correction or explanation.

1.7  Reports, photographs or sketches relative to matters involving indecency or obscenity shall be presented with due sensitivity towards the prevailing moral climate.

1.8   The identity of rape victims and other victims of sexual violence shall not be published without the consent of the victim.

1.9  News obtained by dishonest or unfair means, or the publication of which would involve a breach of confidence, should not be published unless there is an overriding public interest.

1.10 In both news and comment, the press shall exercise exceptional care and consideration in matters involving the private lives and concerns of individuals, bearing in mind that any right to privacy may be overridden by a legitimate public interest.

1.11  A newspaper has wide discretion in matters of taste but this does not justify lapses of taste so repugnant as to bring the freedom of the press, into disrepute or be extremely offensive to the public.

2. Discrimination
2.1 The press should avoid discriminatory or denigratory references to people's race, colour, religion, sexual orientation or preference, physical or mental disability or illness, or age.

2.2 The press should not refer to a person's race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, or physical or mental illness in a prejudicial or pejorative context except where it is strictly relevant to the matter reported on adds significantly to readers; understanding of that matter.

2.3 The press has the right and indeed the duty to report and comment on all matters of public interest.  This right and duty must, however, be balanced against the obligation not to promote racial hatred or discord in such a way as to create the likelihood of imminent violence. 
  
3. Advocacy
A newspaper is justified in strongly advocating its own views on 
controversial topics provided that it treats its readers fairly by 
3.1 making fact and opinion clearly distinguishable; 
3.2 not misrepresenting Or suppressing relevant facts 
3.3 not distorting the facts in text or headlines.

4. Comment
4.1 The press shall be entitled to comment upon or criticise any actions or events of public importance provided such comments or criticisms are fairly and honestly made. 
4.2 Comment by the press shall be presented in such manner that it appears clearly that it is comment, and shall be made on facts truly stated or fairly indicated and referred to. 
4.3 Comment by the press shall be an honest expression of opinion, without malice or dishonest motives, and shall take fair account of all available facts which are material to the matter commented upon.
 
5. Headlines, posters, pictures and captions
5.1   Headlines and captions to pictures shall give a reasonable reflection of the contents of the report or picture in question. 
5.2   Posters shall not mislead the public and shall give a reasonable reflection of the contents of the reports in question. 
5.3   Pictures shall not misrepresent or mislead nor be manipulated to do so.

6. Confidential sources
A newspaper has an obligation to protect confidential sources of information.
 
7. Payment for articles
No payment shall be made for feature articles to persons engaged in crime or other notorious misbehaviour, or to convicted persons or their associates, including family, friends, neighbours and colleagues, except where the material concerned ought to be published in the public interest and the payment is necessary for this to be done.

8. Violence
Due care and responsibility shall be exercised by the press with regard to the presentation of brutality, violence and atrocities.

Ten Tips For Writing an Effective Press Release

How to write a Press Release, these 10 Tips will help you fine your skills in delivering the correct content and strategy for reaching the correct companies and target market.

  • - The first sentence should grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more.
  • - Use content within the first paragraph which shows what your target audience is.
  • - Show your press release to someone in a similar industry and get some feedback.
  • - Make sure your content is well written and proof read.Keep the language simple so that you do not alienate your audience.
  • - State the facts and avoid waffling.
  • - Give the reader as many contact options as you can i.e. phone, fax, email etc...
  • - Make sure you have relevant web links in your article to take the reader to your website where they can find out more.
  • - Make sure that if a journalist wanted to write an article from your press release that all necessary and newsworthy information is included.
  • - Commence the press release with your attention grabbing text, followed by your main news and then talk about the company behind it.

What is a press release?

A news release, press release or press statement is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something claimed as having news value. Typically, it is mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to assignment editors at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television stations, and/or television networks. Commercial newswire services are also used to distribute news releases. Sometimes news releases are sent for the purpose of announcing news conferences.

A news release is different from a news article. A news article is a compilation of facts developed by journalists published in the news media, whereas a news release is designed to be sent to journalists in order to encourage them to develop articles on the subject. A news release is generally biased towards the objectives of the author.

The use of news releases is common in the field of public relations, the aim of which is to attract favorable media attention to the PR firm's client, and publicity, the aim of which is to attract favorable media attention for products marketed by the client.

copyright http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Press_release

When was MyPressportal launched and who runs the site?

MyPressportal was launched in February 2006.

It is run by raramuridesign - An online webdevelopment and design agency based in Cape Town, South Africa and Munich, Germany. You can find more information about our company here .

The following companies have been a vital part of getting this project started:

  • - raramuridesign.com
  • - piezoworks.be

About Pressportal

MyPressportal is geared towards the South African Market only. A press release can have a huge impact on the marketing of your company, as many journalist use press releases to communicate new happenings from all types of companies and NGO's. MyPressportal is FREE. We do not plan not to make this a paid service. If you would like to know more about the system, please read the FAQ.