In addition to writing a release, you need to know how to send a press release to get your news published and earn additional coverage. First, build a media contact list and create an email template to send with each submission. Email your press release and pitch to your list directly, distribute it for maximum media through a press release distribution service, share it on your website and social media, and track performance metrics to measure its success.
1. Build a Media Contact List
Compile a media contact list of press contacts who might be interested in your announcement. These could be local journalists, publications that write for your niche or industry, or journalists who regularly cover stories like yours, whose audiences align with your target audience.
An easy way to do this is to create a table or spreadsheet with the following columns:
- Media outlet name
- Name of journalist or press contact
- Contact information (email address or URL of web form for submitting a story)
- Information about their audience
- Submission guidelines
To find the names of media contacts, visit the agency’s website to find out who to contact for a press release submission. If that doesn’t work, try LinkedIn or call the agency to get the contact info of the journalist or reporter you should send your release to.
You can also use an email finder tool like Hunter to locate the email addresses of journalists and press contacts you think are most likely to be interested in your story. For more options, check out our list of the best email finder tools.
In terms of where to send press releases, here are some sources to use for building your media contact list:
- Traditional news outlets: A traditional news agency is a newspaper, magazine, television channel, radio station, and associated websites. Many list the names of the editorial staff, including email addresses, or offer web forms for online submissions.
- Trade publications: Many industries have digital and print trade publication magazines that regularly cover industry-related news. You can search for a list of relevant trade publications on Google and then research their submission guidelines and writers.
- Journalists: Many journalists have their own websites, publish to sites like Medium, or monetize their articles on platforms like Substack. You can search on these platforms to find journalists who cover stories on your industry or write for audiences similar to yours.
- Non-traditional news sources: These can include Facebook groups, bloggers, business networking organizations, social media influencers, and other digital groups. While these may not be official news outlets, they are often very effective at getting the word out about business news.
Alternatively, if you don’t have the time to build a media list, you can use a service like EIN Presswire. They will distribute your release to thousands of media outlets for $99, including sending it to subscribing journalists by email.
2. Write an Email Template With Your Pitch
The next step in how to send a press release is to create an email template with your pitch to send to journalists. It should explain who you are, what business you’re associated with, that you’re submitting a press release, and that you’d like the journalist to consider writing about it.
When writing your email template, it’s crucial not to assume the reporter knows why their audience wants to learn about your announcement. Make sure that your pitch includes your story’s angle (i.e., the reason they should cover the story). Your angle should make it clear how your news impacts their audience and why it matters to the audience you want to reach.
For help getting started, use this press release email template:
Dear [Journalist’s Name],
My name is [Your Name], and I am sending this email on behalf of [Company]. I am writing to share a press release with you regarding [topic of press release] to be released on [release date]. You can read the release below.
This news is important to your audience because [offer a compelling statistic or reason why this would directly affect the journalist’s audience].
Would you share this news with your audience so they can [include an action like attending the event you’re hosting or buying your book, or how they can benefit from learning about your story]?
Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly if you have further questions about this story.
Thank you for your consideration.
[Your Full Name] and [Professional Title]
[Your Phone Number]
[Your Email Address]
[Your Press Release]
3. Submit & Share Your Press Release
Once your press release is written, your contact list is built, and your email template is ready, it’s time to issue your press release directly to your media contacts. Send an email to journalists with your pitch and press release as well as multimedia images, videos, and graphics a journalist can use to cover your news.
For guidance on how to send a press release that earns additional coverage, follow our top tips for distributing press releases. It provides more details on how to craft a pitch and how (and when) to follow up with journalists after sending a pitch.
Here are some general recommendations for how far in advance to send a press release based on media outlet as well as press release type:
- Traditional media outlets: Send your press release about a week in advance, if possible.
- Trade publications: Send your announcement three to six months ahead (if possible), as editorial calendars for magazine-style publications are planned long in advance.
- Journalists, bloggers, and social influencers: Send your press release a week in advance. Send a media advisory two to three weeks ahead of an event to invite them to attend, and follow up with a press release post-event.
- Awards: Send as soon as the award is announced publicly.
- Book release: Publish your release from a few weeks to one to two months in advance, with a media advisory sent in advance of any book release launch events and a post-launch follow-up press release.
- Crisis release or trending topics: Send immediately.
- Events: Depending on the event, you might want to publish a press release months, weeks, or days in advance (such as for a flash sale).
- New business opening or a new product or service launch: Send two to three weeks in advance.
- New hire press release: Send one to four weeks before the new hire’s start date, or just after a prominent new hire has been made.
- Partnerships, acquisitions, and mergers: Send a week in advance to the media with a “HOLD FOR EMBARGO” release date timed to when you want your news to go public
For more information about what to include and how to submit a press release for various types of announcements, read our article detailing different types of press releases.
Pro tip: Statistically, the best time to submit a press release email is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekdays. Editors open one-third of all their emails at this time. The best day of the week to send your release is Thursday, which has the highest open rates.
4. Send Your Release en Masse With a Distribution Platform
Sending out your release manually via email and web forms can be effective in helping get the attention of specific journalists, but it’s time-consuming and doesn’t guarantee placements. You’ll get far more media placements by syndicating your story to thousands of news wire sites, journalists, and media outlets at once using a media distribution platform like EIN Presswire.
A distribution platform instantly syndicates or sends your press release to thousands of reporters, journalists, blogs, influencers, and news outlets. Some also enable you to email your story directly to editors and reporters who may be interested in covering your news. Upon syndication, your media release is automatically published to news wires, and sent by direct emails to journalists or influencers and targeted social media accounts.
They generally include distribution to a set number of news sites and include the ability to add multimedia and links. In addition, many services include or give you the option to have your announcement proofed and edited by an expert, provide direct-to-journalist email services, and nearly all include post-distribution analytics reports.
Find the right press release distribution service for you by checking out the best press release distribution services. To syndicate your release, select a provider and plan, a release date, and a target audience (an industry, location, or demographic, for example). Then, upload your release and multimedia, select any additional services you want (e.g., direct-to-journalist emails) and complete the checkout process.
To help you save time in choosing a service, here are our three top-recommended distribution platforms, including best use case:
Businesses looking for affordable plans and industry targeting
Small businesses wanting the widest reach for U.S. media and journalists
Businesses wanting multilayer location and industry targeting
Starting Cost for Distribution
Writing & Proofing Services
Fast (1-hour) editorial process
Writing and proofing as an add-on
Three-tier editorial process
5. Republish on Your Website & Share on Social Media
Republish your release on your website as a blog article or on a press page with social sharing buttons. This makes it easy for site visitors to share the article or page on their own social networks.
Once you’ve sent your press release and it has been published, follow up to ensure these placements boost your credibility with social followers and your target markets. To do so, share the link to your press release, or links to articles that have been published on high-profile sites about your story, and advertise them on social media.
6. Track Performance Using Analytics & Reports
After distributing your announcement, monitor its performance to gauge its effectiveness. If you emailed your announcement directly to journalists, you may have received responses or be able to see how many recipients opened your email, visited a page on your website, or clicked a link in your story.
If you submitted a press release on a distribution platform, you would usually get a performance report detailing the coverage it received. If not, performance can be a bit trickier to assess. However, if you included trackable links in your press release, you can track metrics like backlinks earned, which websites linked back to yours, website traffic produced, and observable conversion rate changes.
Pro tip: Want to know if a press release produced backlinks to your website? Easily find your earned backlinks by using the free backlink checker provided by Semrush.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What common press release distribution mistakes do businesses make?
The biggest mistake you can make when sending a press release is failing to provide a newsworthy or interesting angle cover. Learn the basics by reading our article explaining what a press release is. Other common mistakes include not targeting distribution correctly, spamming journalists, and failing to provide the information or multimedia journalists need to cover your story. Check out the complete list of common press release mistakes.
How do I send a free press release?
If you want to send a free press release, you can start by building your own media distribution list. There are a number of free PR distribution platforms, such as PRLog, 1888 Press Release, and PR.com. Although the options, quality, and distribution aren’t as robust as a paid service, a free service can still be a good option. If your budget is super-tight, consider using one of the best free press release distribution services.
Are professional distribution services worth it?
Paying to syndicate a release can be a worthwhile investment. If you’re simply installing a new awning on your storefront, it’s probably not necessary. But if you’re opening four new offices in your region, it may be worth the cost as new foot traffic alone may offset syndication costs. Get the full breakdown of the best press release distribution services for small businesses.
With some time and know-how, you can learn how to send a press release that earns media coverage. It’s not complicated, but it can be time-consuming, especially when it comes to building a media contact list. Likewise, crafting a pitch email to send to journalists can be intimidating. To save time and make the process easier, investing in paid media targeting through a distribution service could be well worth the price.
For an affordable option, send your press release through EIN Presswire. They top our list of the best press release services for offering same-day turnaround, a high word count limit, and media targeting. They have affordable plans starting from $99.95 per 700-word release to get your announcement onto thousands of news sites and emailed to their media subscribers.
You Might Also Like…
- Improve your chances of getting additional media coverage by following our press release best practices.
- Writing press releases is both an art and a science—see who tops our list of the best press release writing services.
- Need to create a newsworthy story? Get inspiration in our list of crazy publicity stunts that actually worked.