Small businesses struggle to get their press release in front of the leading journalists. This article will show you how to send a press release out that gets read. We’ll also show you how to use eReleases to get more coverage at an affordable cost.
How to Send a Press Release: DIY vs. Press Release Distribution Service
Ever wondered why the reporters you most want to communicate with are difficult to reach? It’s because they restrict their availability by using newswires like Associated Press. They do this to avoid getting overwhelmed by low quality content they did not ask for.
So if you’re looking to maximise your press coverage, I recommend using an affordable distribution service like eReleases.
How to Send a Press Release
Whatever you decide, you’ll still need to complete the same step process:
Step 1: Write Your Press Release
Because reporters are busy, it helps to send your press release out respecting press release template and formatting conventions. These have evolved over the years to become an expectation.
The best press release distribution services, like eReleases and PR Web, provide writing services
from $250 per release. However, I recommend you write your own and save money using our free press release template and formatting guidelines.
Let’s face it, you’re the expert and you know your market better than any PR writer. So why not roll up your sleeves and do this yourself? If you really hate the idea of writing, another alternative is to find a freelance PR writer. We recommend Fiverr if you want to try this out.
Step 2: Identify your Targets
Your goal should be to get your release out to the largest possible circulation list relevant to your business. This will help to increase your chances of getting published deliver you better value for money too..
If your sending out a press release yourself, you’ll need to find a list with breadth and depth of publications in your region and industry.
For instance, you could use a service like PressRush. Pricing starts from $49/month or $600/year and allows you to download 50 journalist email addresses per month. You still have to make cold approaches to journalists but at least you’ll have an up to date contact list to work with.
If you sign-up to use eReleases, your press release will be automatically distributed via major newswires like Associated Press and PR Newswire. On top of this, you can also select local geographic areas and industry verticals. There is good depth and breadth of coverage for the entire US. This allows you to add specific publications for a given local area and a large number of industry specific networks too.
Step 3: Set Your Release Date
Take a little time to think about when it would be best for your press release to go out. Would you benefit from piggybacking on another event like a major industry conference? Or would your story be better suited to going out on a slow news day in your industry to stand a better chance of getting published? Both strategies can work well, but if you are piggybacking on say a conference, then you need to cover this in your headline and your content.
It’s also worth experimenting by sending our press releases at different times of the day and on different days of the week. This way you will be able to review the coverage that you receive for each press release and optimise when you send out future press releases.
My personal preference is to send small business press releases is at 8.45am on Wednesdays, which avoids the rush of releases that are circulated on Mondays and Tuesdays.
If you are using eReleases to send your press release out, it will automatically go the next business day unless you specifically schedule a future date. And if you have topical news you want to release immediately, then you can do this too for an additional $100.
eReleases service will also make it easy for you to review how each press release performs so that you can learn and improve the timing of each release for instance.
Step 4: Getting Your Press Release Ready to Go
If you’re sending out a press release yourself, I recommend that you use our free press release template and formatting guidelines.
Once you have finished writing your press release, take the time to proofread it carefully. Ideally, get someone else in your team to proof read for you as it’s difficult to pick-up typos and grammatical mistakes when you have written something yourself.
The challenge that you will face, is that the journalists you are emailing do not know you and you are not communicating via a newswire or press release distribution service that they have chosen to attend.
As a result, I recommend avoiding any formatting that might result in your email being diverted into their spam folder. I would also avoid attaching images or video clips for the same reason.
If you are using eReleases, it is easy to upload your press release in a couple of clicks in any of the following formats: .txt, .rtf, .doc and .docx.
Of course you will have thoroughly proofread your press release. However, as part of the eReleases service, they will also give it a final proofread on your behalf and correct any typos or grammatical errors before it is sent out.
Immediately below where you upload your document, you’ll see some fields that you need to complete to so that your press release previews correctly when it is distributed via newswires. For instance, the dateline, media contact person and phone number. If you want to learn more about each of these fields, I recommend that you read our free press release template and formatting guidelines.
Step 5: Add an Image or Video
If you are sending out a press release yourself, I would not recommend adding any image or video attachments as your email will then run the risk of ending up in the reporter’s spam folder. If you can, insert links to images and video links from YouTube or Vimeo. These stand a better chance of getting through to your intended audience.
Images are a powerful way to harness your readers attention. So upload links to your press release images. You are allowed to include up to two images at no additional cost and we recommend using a JPEG or PNG file format.
Because the journos you are targeting have subscribed to eReleases or one of the newswire services they use, like Associated Press, your press release (including image links) will get through to them.
Step 6: Push the Button
If you’re sending out a press release yourself, we recommend setting up email feedback options if you are using email software like MS Outlook. This will help you measure how many people received your press release email and how many opened it.
The final stage before paying for your order is to review the optional add-ons that eReleases serves up. The main two are:
- Embedding images into the body of your release. Unless the image is key to your release, (like for instance when launching a new product), I would avoid this extra cost as you can includes links to images for free.
- YouTube Embed, which will embed a YouTube image and play button to your article. Again, this is really only worth considering if your objective is to get people to join you on YouTube.
The Juice Press
This article has shown you how to distribute a small business press release. If you are looking to maximize your coverage, I recommend trying out eReleases, which is affordable and comes with 30% discount for new customers.