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Do You Need a Press Release?

Alyice Edrich, Guest Author

Simply put, a press release (PR) is a unique story. It is 500 or more words and usually not more than one page in length. It includes quotes from you as well as testimonials from others. And it must be geared towards the editor's (publication's) audience. In other words, the press always think of:

  • What is in it for our readers?
  • What will sell more ad spaces?
  • What will sell more subscriptions?. . . etc.

Your press release must have a goal - in other words, what do you want the PR to do for your business?

Finding your Target Market or PR Niche

Reporters care about news - recent news, trends, facts, statistics, interesting topics that tie into your product or service. They want something that is newsworthy, educational, inspirational, or motivational.

Send out a press release every time something new and exciting happens in your business, but don't forget to angle that news into something "newsworthy!" Continue to find new ideas for your press release because it's not just a one shot deal! In fact, tailor your PRs for different markets and send them out weekly, to those different markets!

Do you want to sell more of your products, but don't have the advertising budget? press releases can be free publicity, if done right! press releases add credibility to your business and are a form of FREE advertising!

Put Your PR on Your Website

Once your release has been written, place it on your website for added exposure! Not only do PR's help promote your business, they add valuable content to your website! Who knows, a journalist may see your PR and request an interview!

Why Your PR is Needed

Media outlets need to inform and entertain their audiences! When your PR is accepted, the media will use it as is, as basis for an article, as a sidebar to an article, or as an interview piece! That is what I call great FREE PUBLICITY! Be aware that sometimes, you will be notified when your press release is used, and other times, it will be used without your notification. Having sent your press release out, you have given the receiver free range to use as he or she sees fit, and when he or she chooses.

Where to Send Your PR

Press release distributors send your PR out to the masses, but you need to target your PR to the right market or it will be tossed in the trash.

When looking for places to send your PR, consider the local newspaper, major newspapers and magazines, specialty publications, cable channels, television stations, news stations, radio, online newsletters, town weeklies and organizations. Look for places that showcase new businesses, like trade magazines. hometown papers may use your PR for their calendar section. And local TV stations love heart-warming PRs!

Address Your PR to a Person

Send your release to a person. Releases sent in care of the newspaper will probably get tossed. But, if you send your release to "Carolyn Wilson at the (your newspaper name)," it will at least get read, before deciding if it is newsworthy or not.

Will You Get a Call?

Please keep in mind that you may not always be notified when a press release is used. More often than not, a reporter or publishing house will use your press release without contacting you. The minute you send out a press release, you have given the receiver permission to use it, as he or she sees fit.

Sometimes, the timing just isn't right for the press release you sent out, therefore, the reporter or editor may put your PR in his "futures" file drawer for slow days or he may toss it in the trash. If you do not get a call back from the newspaper or magazine to do a feature article on you, don't chuck that PR! Wait about three weeks and send it again. You can also get a little creative and try another editor, or send directly to a reporter you think will cover that topic. Once, it took me three tries before the newspaper took my story, but when they did, I got great coverage!

Media Announcements

Free publicity is always a welcome site for small business owners. But it's not always easy to get in the paper. If your long press release isn't getting the attention you desire, consider sending a media announcement instead. If the journalist likes what he reads, he'll call or e-mail you for more information.

Simply put a media announcement consists of a headline, one or two paragraphs, and contact information. You are sending the Editor a "news flash," or update with the hook that will get others to read the juicy or meaty part of the release.


Copyright © - Alyice Edrich. - Reprinted with permission. Alyice Edrich is a freelance writer, discount telecommunications agent, and Editor-in-Chief for The Dabbling - An Online Magazine for BUSY Parents. She may be reached at, or


  If you would like to talk one-on-one with Larry James about issues related to this article, you are invited to arrange for a private coaching session by telephone. Go to Author & Speaker Coaching for specific details and fees.

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