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:

  1. Get the editors attention
  2. Easily identify your topic
  3. Showcase your news writing abilities
  4. 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?

  1. Is my information timely? Is it news, or advertising?
  2. Does it affect the majority of the publications audience?
  3. Are my facts correct, and verifiable?
  4. Is it objective, or have I approached the topic in a biased manner?
  5. Have I cut out any unnecessary information or boasting, so that it appears like any other news item?
  6. 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?
  7. Did I include my contact information so that the editor can easily contact me if he or she has any questions?
  8. 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.