A well-written note is only half the battle. If a journalist refuses to even read it, this means all your work will be in vain. If the message is written improperly, it will end up in trash or go straight to the spam folder. This guide is to present several simple tips that may come in handy when sending your press news out to the world.
You’re doing it wrong, man!
First, let’s start with what we usually do wrong. The most common mistakes are:
- Topic-related/unrelated. The press release lacks news or an element of surprise or something that attracts attention.
- Language-related. The press release is written in an incomprehensible way, abounds with jargon terminology or contains spelling mistakes.
- Form-related. The text is chaotic, it lacks some standard elements required when it comes to press news, misses the aesthetics factor.
- Time-related. The press release was submitted too late, after a given issue was finalized. For example, the magazine has already gone to print.
- Audience-related. The press release was sent to a journalist who does not deal with the subject.
And one more important remark. Always keep your word when collaborating with a journalist. If you promised to deliver a press release or some additional materials before an agreed deadline or perhaps you promised to call—do it. This way you inspire trust, improve your credibility and build positive relations with the media.
Last but not least… Do you really think that by sending this to reporters you’ll later be able to present an impressive results report to your client?Just take a look at some real press release fails that should have never reached the people they did:
You already know what not to do. Here are useful steps needed to send a press release including traditional and non-traditional sources.
Let’s be honest. There are many factors that can decide the life or death of your media coverage: from the relationships with specific journos to editorial schedules to the topics of your publications. Remember that journalists receive on average several dozen pieces of information a day, so it is important that your email is not too “heavy”. Thanks to this, the journalist will receive a set of materials, and there will still be a lot of space in his e-mail inbox.
The best way to send a press release is to personally send it to media outlets by using online service. This automated process allows you to better measure the effects of your mailing and analyze whether our activities are effective. Because that’s what it’s all about, right?
In this guide, I will take into account:
- Who do i send a press release to?
- Should you send your press release to a large media list?
- How to write an email introducing a press release?
- When to send a press release?
- How to follow up after sending a press release?
The right audience
Theoretically this is obvious, but in practice you get the impression that some PR companies send notes randomly without any plan or consideration—the fact that a journalist is on your contact list does not mean that you have to send everything to him or her. Only industry-related information should be sent to editorial offices covering particular industry-related topics, while the ones related to a city or region should be sent to local editorial offices. In the media, individual journalists have their own specializations and therefore instead of sending a note to the general email address, it is best to address it to the person most interested in a given matter.
This is an example of Prowly’s audience pitch. Prowly lets you send out multiple campaigns for the same story, so your message is personalized.
Press news addressed to a larger number of people should be sent using the “BCC” option so that the emails addresses and names of other recipients are concealed. Sending emails using the “CC” option only is a basic mistake every marketer has probably made at some point in their career. If the number of recipients does not exceed 10, you can send each message individually, trying to personalize it; for example, briefly explain why you think that a particular editorial office might be interested in the subject.
Let’s be honest. In the PR world, there’s one thing that makes all PR pros shiver–the media contacts database. With the proliferation of media outlets, knowing who is writing about your industry or business is getting more and more desirable. However, you still need to get your content to the right person if you want to promote your brand. Creating great content is one thing but you need to share it with someone other than your immediate family.
Editable text files
If, and this is not a general rule, you decide to attach a text file to an email that contains the same information or its elaboration, always choose a file that can be edited.
Some PR pros paste in the most important content from the press release, others paste the whole piece. There is no golden rule – you know what is best for your contacts.
If you are sending a traditional press release, check out these examples:
How to write an e-mail introducing a press release example?
An email containing press news should only include the main text and necessary attachments. The basis is formed by creating a text file with the main body of the note, possibly a logo, 2-3 photos and/or some graphic materials. If you want to share a video or a presentation of your choice with a journalist, post links to pages where they can find them, and, instead of attaching countless images, add a link to a gallery where they can download all of them.
In our recent article (you can read it here) we wrote that there are three easy ways for writing email pitches that you should try out if your click rate is too low and your clients expect you to get them more media presence:
- When you’re crafting your email from scratch, include all the key information (Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?) and throw in 1-2 quotes used in the press release (if possible).
- For “bullet” fans, write a short message with three or four bullet points presenting the key details about your news.
- All-in-one: The main part of the email body should include one or two paragraphs containing the so-called “meat”—the essence; the key details and info that should win the journalists’ attention. Next, after your standard email ending (“Regards, X ”), paste your press release text into a clearly separated section.
Okay. You have already created a killer press release to send to one of the journalists in your company’s contact. Your press release has a catchy title, gripping lead. What next? Your press release is almost ready to be published… but image it it’s already 3:00pm on a Friday afternoon. What do you do? Do you send your press release now or send it first hour on Monday morning? Time matters.
When is the best time and day to send a press release?
Recently we analyzed over 55470 press releases sent in 2018 by our users using Prowly and checked when respondents opened them. You’re probably thinking Monday when everyone is feeling crisp and relaxed after the weekend. No way! The best day to send a press release is on Thursday when the average open rate jumps to over 26%! The worst days are Wednesdays and Fridays when even 85% of your emails get lost in the journos’ inboxes.
What’s interesting, Friday, on the other hand, seems to have the opposite effect. Everyone’s mind is on the weekend so everything that’s not a top priority gets left over for Monday.
The best time to send a press release is between 10 am and 2 pm—this is when editors open about one-third of all the emails they’ve received. Early mornings are less effective: open rates drop to 20.5% between 6 and 10 am. If you do decide on the early morning, however, we recommend waiting at least until around 8am-9am.
Information sent well in advance
Obliviously, when it comes to press notes, their validity is crucial, but marketers must take into account that writing an article also takes time. If you care about a specific release date, send it a few days or a maximum of one week earlier. When a note concerns an event for which you invite people form outside your city, send it at least two weeks in advance so people can book a date or plan their stay.
Remember to put the information on the website and in the press office, your social media channels because journalists will first of all use these sources.