How to Launch a Press Release on a Budget

Newspaper boyIf you need more traffic to your website, generating a press release will often give that to you. However, it needs to be timely, newsworthy and have a good hook if you expect it to be read and shared by others, particularly the media. Good items to issue a press release on are: a new product/release of something, a grant or award, a new partnership, an landmark issue/decision that impacts your organization.

It also needs to be marketed, in which you can use social media to help you do this and some other services. (see below)

Whether you DIY or hire a company to help you, all press releases require the following:

  • Headline – the main title of the news. Make it 8 words or less. Consider having a sub-headline (subtitle) under the headline to make the headline more crisp and catchy. For example:
    Sample of Press Release
  • Website Link – be sure to include a link to your website or the press release tool where  have it posted
  • The Story – the meat of the story
  • Personal Quoteat least one quote from someone within the organization/company
  • Media files: your logo, or a relevant photo
And keep in mind you’ll want to write it for the press in hopes that someone will pick it up and do a story on it. Because remember, the reporter doesn’t care about your company or website hits, or donations. The reporter only cares about giving a good story to their readers and to their editor.

For nonprofits and for-profits there are free sources that will post your press release such as:

And of course market it on Social Media:

  • Twitter: Once you have a web link, you can market your story on Twitter ( a lot of reporters hang out on Twitter), and tweet it at least 4-6 times on the first day.
  • Facebook: See if your local paper has a Facebook Fan page and post it on their page or mention them in your post with @LocalNewspaperName (*Note: your fan page needs to “like” their fan page before it will pick up the tagging). Once tagged it will appear in their newsfeed.

Happy writing!

About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is a social media consultant, strategist, and analyst.

Comments

  1. Good article, Tracy, thanks for posting it. I don’t have a background in traditional communications, so can you tell me a little bit about the role of press releases in today’s “social world?” I ask because I’m not sure if the rules have also changed when it comes to pitching reporters; relationships are still good leverages for getting exclusive coverage amidst the noise, right?

    • Tracy Sestili says:

      Yes, absolutely. If you have a relationship with a reporter, that is always better to get exclusive coverage. One way to do that is follow a reporter on Twitter and share his articles, or RT his/her stuff and give them attribution by putting in their Twitter handle. Reporters are grateful and they get to know your name and your business when you do this. Of course, the old fashioned phone call works too – but you need to have your pitch ready (but that’s a whole other post waiting to be written). :-)