Publicity is free, and great when you can get it! Sending a press release to editors of newspapers and other media is the best way to begin. Start small with local papers and build your presence up from there. (See Sample Press Release at bottom)
If you’re persistent, you’ll soon get calls for interviews. After one newspaper publishes a story about you, other media will likely jump on the bandwagon.
To start, search for and make a list of all the publications (magazines, newspapers, etc.) and on-air media (radio and television stations) you want to contact. Most media outlets have a link you can click to send your press release. It helps to call each one to confirm the best editor/department to send your information to and the deadline.
You can also use press release submission websites such as:
To give you an idea of what a press release should look like, I’ve included one below that I sent out for an organization. Here are tips to write your own:
The press release itself should be straightforward. PR Log has some excellent tutorials to make sure your notice is in the proper form.
- Start with the Headline. Something short and snappy to grab attention.
- Next is the Summary. It should provide essential information to the media: the who, what, where, when and why. Boring? Yes, but just present those five facts, and you can add more colorful stuff afterwards. When editors see the needed info front and center, they’ll get a good impression and will be more likely to read further.
- Dateline: The release date and city.
- Introduction: The first paragraph can contain the summary info in greater detail.
- Details: Further explanation, background history or other info that further explains the intro paragraph. Here’s where you can add personal details that will make the story more interesting, such as the hardships you faced in running your business, community organizations you’re active in, or where you’re located. What makes you or your organization unique?
- About: Background info on the company or organization.
- Contact: Name, phone number, e-mail address, mailing address for the contact person. The e-mail address should be the same as the organization e-mail; e.g. for the organization “Jerseyiris.org,” ther contact should be “Someone@Jerseyiris.org.”
Many outlets will post your article verbatim. So give them the plain facts and just enough extra to stoke people’s curiosity.
After you submit your press release, follow up with a phone call if possible, to confirm that the recipients got your release and to ask if they have any questions.
Here’s a sample release. This group got numerous newspaper calendar listings and some mentions on radio and TV.
Colorful Iris Flower Show Coming to Medford
The Garden State Iris Society presents a free Medians Iris Show on Saturday, May 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Medford Leas Community Center, Route 70, Medford, N.J.
— FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE —
April 23, 2012, Medford, N.J. — The Garden State Iris Society invites everyone to stop and smell the flowers at the Mostly Medians Iris Show on Saturday, May 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Medford Leas Community Center, Route 70, Medford, N.J. The show is free and open to the public.
Anyone, including non-members, may enter. If interested in exhibiting, please see the GSIS Web site for details on the rules and show schedule at: http://www.jerseyiris.org
This early-season show will feature colorful median iris such as small dwarf bearded, intermediate bearded, miniature tall bearded and border bearded. Plus, the blooms of everyone’s favorite — tall bearded iris — will be on display in numerous hues and patterns.
Photo opportunity: The garden of GSIS member and hybridizer, Mary Smith, is in bloom at 25 Maple Road, Southampton. Mary grows numerous varieties of iris as well as other flowers. Call (609) XXX-XXXX for information.
About The Garden State Iris Society
The Garden State Iris Society is a club for New Jersey gardeners, growers and lovers of garden irises. Part of the American Iris Society Region comprising New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, the group has active hybrididizers who have introduced new flower colors and designs throughout the world. For more info, see: http://www.jerseyiris.org
Contact: Reesa Marchetti, (856) XXX-XXXX