Press Release Insights: Right place. Right time.

Image courtesy of r. nial bradshaw's photostream

Image courtesy of r. nial bradshaw’s photostream

Sometimes life is all about being in the right place at the right time, right? The same is true for your press releases. In my last post, we talked about how to write an effective release. I mentioned the importance of sending your announcement to the right person, because even the most well written release won’t make it into the news if it isn’t in the right place at the right time.

Here are some tips for sending your press releases:

•    First identify the key media outlets you want to target. Is your story best suited for print, radio or TV? Local news or a trade publication? Think about the audience and the types of stories these outlets typically run.

•    Once you know you where you want your press release to run, start doing some research. Which reporters are covering what topics? Most news outlets list their newsroom contacts on their website. Try to identify a contact that works in the news topic most closely related to your announcement. Most PR people use a media database like Cision or Meltwater to help them quickly identity the right contacts. These platforms can be quite expensive, and often you can find the same results with a Google search. It just takes a little more time.

•    Many reporters won’t open emails with attachments. I recommend writing a short intro message and including your release in the body of the email. Let the reporter know you can provide photos, videos or other relevant supporting files you may have at their request. Once they know you are a trusted source then you can send attachments.

•    Timing is everything, but unfortunately you never know if a breaking news story will come out right after your release. Do your best to keep your eye on the news and try to avoid busy news days if possible. Send your release during business hours and avoid Fridays and holidays.

•    Share you story on your own. Upload your release onto a free PR distribution site, like www.PRLog.com and post a link to your article on your social media sites.

Persistence is key. Don’t give up on your release without sending it to multiple outlets and doing ample follow up. While you can’t control the news cycle, you can put your release in the best situation to succeed. Strategically plan how you send your release, and with a little luck, your announcement will ultimately been seen by the right people just when you want them to see it!

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