How To Send A Press Release Successfully: A Comprehensive Guide

Last Update:

14 mins

Get practical tips on sending a press release, from crafting compelling content to choosing the right distribution channels.


Reviewed by Chloe Bidle

Creative social media strategist, driving engagement and innovation.

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  1. Realistic Expectations From Sending Your Press Release
  2. How to Send a Press Release in 8 Easy Steps
    1. Create an Outstanding Press Release
    2. Find Relevant Journalists and Their Contact Information
    3. Write Catchy Email Subject Lines
    4. Develop a Pitch Email that Guarantees Quality Leads
    5. Include Your Press Release
    6. Simply Put Your Contact Information
    7. Send Your Pitch Email
    8. Follow up on Your Press Release
  3. When is the Best Time to Send a Press Release?
  4. What is the Best Format to Send a Press Release?
  5. Can I Submit the Same Press Release to Different PR Websites?
  6. Should I Send a Press Release to a Large Media List?
  7. How Far in Advance Should You Distribute a Press Release?
  8. Who to Send a Press Release to?
    1. Journalists
    2. Bloggers and Influencers
    3. News Outlets
    4. Tips for Reaching Out
  9. What Are The Best Days to Send a Press Release?
    1. Best Times for Sending Out Press Releases:
  10. Should I Send a Press Release in Word or PDF?
  11. Wrapping Up
  12. Frequently Asked Questions
    1. How can I effectively distribute a press release to local media outlets?
    2. Could you provide a step-by-step guide for sending a press release via email?
    3. Can you give an example of a press release format tailored for a specific event?
    4. What are the most effective strategies for ensuring a press release receives good media coverage?

Sending a press release is a strategic way to generate media coverage for your brand, product, or organization. When executed properly, it serves as an influential tool that can capture the interest of journalists and reach your target audience effectively. A well-crafted press release highlights what is newsworthy about your announcement, piquing the interest of media outlets and making them more likely to share your story.

Your press release must be properly formatted, clear, and concise, conveying your message without overwhelming the recipient. It's essential to tailor your content to suit the interests and beats of the journalists you're contacting. By understanding the media landscape and the preferences of the journalists, you'll be better positioned to engage them with your news.

It's crucial to ensure your press release is distributed to the right people at the right time. Timing can make the difference between gaining widespread attention and being overlooked. Building a targeted list of contacts and utilizing the appropriate channels to send your press release can significantly enhance the probability of achieving desired media coverage. By focusing on these steps, you position your story in a way that stands out in a competitive news environment.

Realistic Expectations From Sending Your Press Release

When distributing a press release, setting realistic expectations is crucial for recognizing the actual impact your efforts may have. Here's what you should anticipate:

  • Media Reach: Understand that not all media outlets will pick up your release. Target relevant journalists and outlets who align with your brand and story angle to increase your chances of coverage.
Expected Outcome Description
Media Coverage Some targeted outlets may cover your story, but widespread coverage isn't guaranteed.
Brand Awareness Each mention can contribute to brand recognition, rather than immediate sales.
  • Coverage: Immediate wide coverage is rare. Focus on crafting a compelling story for better engagement. Coverage, if secured, will often be in the form of online articles or brief mentions.

  • Brand Awareness: Press releases contribute to ongoing brand exposure. Repetition is key; consistent, quality releases build the narrative of your brand over time.

  • Search Engine Impact: While a press release can offer SEO benefits, expect gradual improvements. It’s a long-term strategy that builds with each release, as search engines index content.

  • Press Release Distribution: Utilize press release distribution services wisely. They increase visibility but don’t ensure media pick-up. Select ones that are reputable and have strong networks relevant to your industry.

  • SEO: Insert relevant keywords naturally for potential SEO gains. However, the primary goal of a press release is to inform and interest the media, not to serve as an SEO tool.

Remember, your press release is a single touchpoint in a broader PR strategy and contributes cumulatively to your overall brand narrative and media presence.

How to Send a Press Release in 8 Easy Steps

Crafting and sending a press release demands precision and strategic thinking. The key to success lies in understanding the process and executing each step meticulously to maximize media coverage and promote your brand effectively.

Create an Outstanding Press Release

Before anything else, write a press release that stands out. Start with an attention-grabbing headline and a concise lead that covers the five Ws: who, what, when, where, and why. Research and employ a press release template to ensure proper format. The content should be clear and contain a compelling angle, a boilerplate about your brand, and, if relevant, exciting news like product launches or new hires to attract media attention.

Find Relevant Journalists and Their Contact Information

Identifying the right media contacts is crucial. Utilize search engine optimization techniques to discover journalists who cover topics related to your press release. Employ email finder tools to gather contact information. Building a contact list takes time but ensures your press release reaches the appropriate audience.

Write Catchy Email Subject Lines

An enticing subject line is your first opportunity to capture a journalist's attention. Make it bold and vivid, yet clear and concise, to prompt the recipient to open your email. The subject line should encapsulate the essence of your news while invoking curiosity.

Develop a Pitch Email that Guarantees Quality Leads

Your pitch email should be succinct and to the point, indicating why your press release is significant. Tailor your approach for each journalist, demonstrating that you've done your research. A personalized touch can increase the chances of gaining media coverage.

Include Your Press Release

When attaching your press release, you can choose to paste it at the bottom of your email or include it as an attachment. Sometimes a hyperlink to a press kit is also acceptable. The important part is to make the process as easy as possible for the journalist to access your information.

Simply Put Your Contact Information

The contact information is vital—place it conspicuously in your email signature. Ensure that you provide all necessary details such as phone numbers and social media handles to allow easy follow-ups.

Send Your Pitch Email

With your email finalized, it's time to send your pitch. Optimize the time of sending to increase visibility. Most journalists prefer receiving emails in the morning. Avoid weekends and holidays when your email is less likely to be noticed.

Follow up on Your Press Release

Following up is key. If you haven't received a response, send a polite follow-up email or mail within a week. Be persistent but not pushy to maintain good relations with the journalists, which may be beneficial for future press releases.

When is the Best Time to Send a Press Release?

Selecting the optimal timing can significantly impact the success of your press release. Your objective is to maximize visibility and engagement.

Days to Consider:

  • Tuesday to Thursday are widely regarded as effective days to send press releases. They typically have higher open rates because Mondays are known for high volumes of emails and Fridays are when people wind down for the weekend.

Daily Timing:

  • Aim for 10 am to 2 pm for sending out your press release; this window often correlates with higher open rates.
  • Early mornings (between 7:00 am and 9:00 am) can be successful, too, but be conscious of your recipients' time zones to ensure your press release is top-of-inbox during their work hours.

Event-based Timing:

  • For events and breaking news, timing can be more immediate. The goal is to disseminate the press release as swiftly as possible while the news is still considered fresh and relevant.

Considerations for Dates and Special Events:

  • Avoid holidays and busy news days, when your press release might be overlooked due to reduced staff or higher competition.
  • If targeting a special event, schedule your release to coincide with the build-up to that event, when interest is on the rise.

Remember to track the performance of your press releases to refine and improve your timing for future communications. It's important to gauge when your audience is most receptive.

By being strategic with the timing of your press release, you can enhance the probability that it will be seen and acted upon by the intended audience.

What is the Best Format to Send a Press Release?

When preparing to send your press release, the format is crucial for ensuring your content is readily accessible and professional. Ideally, your press release should be sent in the body of an email with a clear, compelling subject line. This enables journalists to quickly scan the content without dealing with attachments, which can often be overlooked or filtered out by spam filters.

Attachments: If you must send attachments, include a PDF or a Word document. A PDF preserves your formatting across all devices, while a Word doc allows for easy copy-pasting. However, before sending any attachments, you should be familiar with the preferences of the recipient, as some may specifically request no attachments.

Email Body Text: Your press release in an email should be well-formatted:

  • Header: Include "For Immediate Release" or the specific release date.
  • Headline: Bold and centered to grab attention.
  • Subheading: Italicized, providing additional information and enticing the reader to continue.
  • Dateline: Start your first paragraph with the release date and location.
  • Boilerplate: At the end, provide a brief corporate overview.

Tables & Lists:

  • Tables are not conventional for press releases and should be avoided.
  • Use bullet points to list key points or features if necessary, but keep it to a minimum.

Lastly, ensure all your text is mobile-friendly, as many journalists may access their emails from mobile devices. Keep your paragraphs short and information concise to cater to this need. Your goal is to make the journalist's job as easy as possible to raise the chances of your press release being picked up.

Can I Submit the Same Press Release to Different PR Websites?

When managing your press release distribution, you might wonder whether you can submit the same content to multiple PR websites. The straightforward answer is yes, but there are important considerations to factor in to ensure effectiveness and maintain SEO integrity.

Reaching a Broader Audience:

  • Submitting your press release to various platforms increases your chances of reaching a wider audience.
  • Different PR websites may have unique segments of readership providing varied exposure.

Duplicate Content Concerns:

  • Search engines typically filter out duplicate content. Consequently, if identical releases appear in multiple places, only one may be indexed.
  • SEO ranking can be impacted negatively by duplicate content, reducing online visibility.

Customization for Different Publications:

  • Tailor your press release slightly for each platform to avoid the duplicate content filter.
  • Adapt the angle or hook to resonate with the specific audience of each PR website.

Follow Submission Guidelines:

  • Each publication may have its own submission rules. Ensure your press release aligns with their standards.
  • PR websites often indicate if they accept previously published material or require exclusivity.

Tracking and Analytics:

  • Monitor the performance of your press release across different sites with tools such as analytics and UTM parameters to measure SEO impact.
  • Use the data collected to refine future press release strategies for better results.
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Should I Send a Press Release to a Large Media List?

When preparing to distribute your press release, you might consider whether sending it to a large media list is beneficial. It's crucial to understand that the size of your media list should not supersede the relevance and targeting of the list.

Quality over Quantity: Having a media list that is large but not tailored to your target audience may result in low engagement and inefficiency. Instead, focus on a well-researched media list that includes journalists and outlets likely to be interested in your press release and have influence within your niche.

Tailor to Your Audience: Customize your media list to ensure that it reaches the specific media outlets that align with your target audience's consumption habits. This increases the likelihood that your message will resonate and be picked up for coverage.

Consideration Strategy
Relevance Target journalists who cover your sector.
Audience Alignment Choose outlets where your audience tunes in.
Personalization Tailor pitches to individual journalists.

Media Outreach: When sending out a press release, it’s about making the right connections rather than just casting a wide net. Personalize your pitches to build rapport with journalists. This personal touch distinguishes your press release amidst a flood of generic requests.

Coverage Considerations: Ultimately, the goal is to secure coverage that amplifies your message to the intended audience. A targeted approach to media list creation is more likely to yield meaningful media attention and coverage that resonates with your audience.

How Far in Advance Should You Distribute a Press Release?

Timing is Crucial:

  • For event-related releases, ideally distribute 3-4 weeks in advance.
  • For product launches, aim for 2-3 weeks before the launch date to create anticipation.

Scheduling Steps:

  1. Identify your goals: What do you intend to achieve with your press release?
  2. Understand your audience: When are they most likely to engage with your news?
  3. Media deadlines: Tailor your schedule to the press timelines, considering their lead times.

Example Schedule for an Event:

Timeframe Action
4 weeks before event Preliminary distribution to key media contacts.
2 weeks before event Follow-up with those who showed interest.
1 week before event Final reminder and include any updates.

Optimize Your Distribution:

  • Weekdays are generally better; Tuesdays and Wednesdays often yield higher open rates.
  • Avoid weekends and holidays when newsrooms are less staffed.
  • Send early in the day; mornings can result in better engagement than afternoons.

When planning the distribution of your press release, factor in these various elements to ensure your news is timely and reaches the right audience effectively. By strategically scheduling the release, you increase the chances of it being noticed and thus achieving your desired impact, whether that's promoting an event or launching a new product.

Who to Send a Press Release to?

In order to make your press release impactful, it is essential to send it to the correct recipients. Here is how to identify your target audience and the entities that will be most receptive:


Identify journalists who cover topics within your industry, as they are likely to have an interest in your story. Research their previous work to confirm relevance.

  • National media: For stories with wider appeal.
  • Local media: When your news has a regional focus.
  • Industry-specific journalists: For niche or sector-related releases.

Bloggers and Influencers

Look for bloggers and influencers who discuss related topics and wield influence over your target audience. Reach out to those who are open to receiving press releases.

News Outlets

Tailor your press release for the following outlets, considering their specific audiences:

  • Television: For visual, impactful stories.
  • Radio: For local and timely content.
  • Online publications: Broad reach, usually specific to certain interests.

Tips for Reaching Out

  • Personalize your pitch to show you’ve done your homework.
  • Keep an organized list of contacts, sorted by relevance and past engagement.
  • Use social media to find journalists and outlets active in your niche.

Remember, tailored pitches to the right contacts increase the likelihood of your press release gaining the attention it deserves.

What Are The Best Days to Send a Press Release?

Timing your press release is crucial to ensure it gains the desired media attention. According to research, the best days to send a press release are typically midweek.

  • Tuesday to Wednesday: Your press release is more likely to be opened and considered when sent between Tuesday and Wednesday. Avoid sending it late in the week when it could be lost in the end-of-week workflow.

  • Thursday: Surprisingly, Thursday has been noted for having a higher open rate which may lead to increased visibility.

It's important to note that sending your press release on the right day of the week can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of your outreach.

Best Times for Sending Out Press Releases:

  • Morning hours: Sending your press release between 7:00 am and 9:00 am, considering the recipients' time zones, can be particularly effective.

  • Midweek caution: Be mindful that Wednesdays may have higher competition for attention, causing potential loss amidst other emails.

  • Avoid weekends: Press releases sent over the weekend often go unnoticed and are less likely to be acted upon.

By considering these factors and choosing the optimal day and time, you position your press release for maximum media attention and engagement.

Should I Send a Press Release in Word or PDF?

When deciding whether to send your press release in a Word document or a PDF, consider the following:

Format Accessibility
Word documents are easily editable, which allows for last-minute corrections. However, they can appear differently on various devices if fonts and formatting are not embedded. In contrast, PDF files maintain your formatting consistently but are not easily editable, and some email clients block attachments due to security risks, possibly reducing the open rate of your press release.

Email Best Practices
Sending a press release in the body of an email ensures immediate visibility and accessibility. Attachments can be cumbersome, often getting filtered into spam folders, which makes sending the press release directly in the email body the preferred method. If you do choose to send an attachment:

  • Offer a Word document for editable convenience.
  • Provide a PDF for fixed formatting alongside the Word document.

Quick Tips:

  • Avoid attachments when possible; place the press release in the email body.
  • When attaching, include both Word and PDF formats.
  • Ensure attachments are small in size to prevent bounce-backs due to file limitations.

Remember, journalists and media outlets receive a vast number of press releases daily. Streamlining their experience by providing your press release in an accessible and convenient format can increase the chances of it being read and considered.

Wrapping Up

When finalizing the dispatch of your press release, ensure you have fulfilled several crucial steps. Start with a summary, a concise encapsulation of your announcement, providing easy-to-digest highlights. This summary serves as a last impression and reinforces the core message of your press release.

Here’s a quick checklist to review:

  • Headline: Does it grab attention and accurately represent the news?
  • Body: Is the information clear, factual, and free of jargon?
  • Boilerplate: Have you included a brief about your company?
  • Contact Information: Is it up-to-date and easily visible?

Your key takeaways should be evident, leaving no ambiguity about the 'what', 'why', and 'how' of your news. Bullet points like the following can be a useful format:

  • Clear value proposition of your announcement
  • Pertinent data or statistics that bolster your message
  • Immediate steps or call-to-action for readers

Before hitting send, double-check your distribution list. Are you targeting the right journalists and media outlets? Verify that contact information is correct to avoid missed opportunities for follow-ups.

Just remember, your press release is a reflection of your brand. Make sure it’s polished, professional, and ready to make the right impact once it reaches the public domain.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you'll find concise responses tailored to common inquiries about sending a press release, including distribution, email guidelines, format examples, and strategies for garnering media attention.

How can I effectively distribute a press release to local media outlets?

To distribute a press release locally, research and curate a list of local newspapers, radios, and TV stations. Contact these outlets directly to find the appropriate person for press communications, and follow their preferred press submission guidelines. Building relationships with local media can enhance the chances of your press release being picked up.

Could you provide a step-by-step guide for sending a press release via email?

When emailing a press release, start by crafting a compelling subject line to capture attention. Address the email to the relevant journalist or editor by name for a personal touch. Include a brief, engaging pitch in your email body before presenting the press release, which should also be attached as a document. Close with your contact details, offering further information upon request.

Can you give an example of a press release format tailored for a specific event?

A press release for an event should follow a clear structure: start with an attention-grabbing headline, then an introductory paragraph summarizing the event's who, what, when, where, and why. The following body paragraphs provide detailed information, and a final 'About Us' section gives background on the hosting organization. Ensure dates, location, and contact information are easily visible.

What are the most effective strategies for ensuring a press release receives good media coverage?

To maximize media coverage, target the right journalists by researching those who cover your industry or topic. Write a clear, concise press release that immediately emphasizes its newsworthiness and relevance. Follow up with media contacts after sending the release to address any questions and verify receipt. Timeliness is also crucial; align your release with current trends and news cycles when possible.

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