News Releases: Part 2 – When to Send Them

In the first installment in this series, we talked about what a news release is and what it isn’t. Now it’s time to look at when you should send a news release.

The best time to send a news release is anytime you have something newsworthy to report. Here are a few ideas:

  • New introductions: the opening of a new business, the release of a book, the launch of a product. The key to success here is to find a hook that makes your business, book, or product stand out from the crowd. As we learned in Shift Happens, 3000 new book titles are published EVERY DAY worldwide. While yours is important to you, it’s not likely to be important to the media. When George McKenzie opened a Subway franchise, he wrote a news release that got his new business covered in a front page story of the local business journal. What made the opening of one more franchise so newsworthy? Rather than focusing on his new business, George, the creator of the The Instant Press Release Toolkit, wrote about his franchise operation being one of the first in a new trend – fast food franchises operating inside of retail and convenience stores. The business newspaper found this trend newsworthy enough to devote a full page cover story to the topic, prominently featuring George’s store as an example of the trend.
  • Growth or change: a business expansion or restructuring, a merger or acquisition, the installation of new technology. Again, you need to find a hook that makes the growth or change newsworthy. Thousands of new Web sites and blogs are launched every day. What makes yours different and interesting to the public? If the new Web site for your health food store offers interactive tools to help visitors choose nutritional products for specific needs, write the news release about the tools, not about XYZ Company announcing a new Web site. When you announce a joint venture partnership with another business, send a news release about the impact on the economy of the community. Look at your news from the perspective of the journalist seeking information that readers, listeners, and viewers want to know or need to know.
  • Events: company milestones, contributions to charity, seminars and speaking engagements. Choose an angle that will be news and not advertisement. When you celebrate your company’s 25th anniversary, put the 25 years in historical context. What was happening in the world and your community when the company started; what has changed through the years? If you are making a significant contribution to a charity, describe the problem, tell how the charity is improving the situation, and share how important you feel it is to support the organization’s work.
  • Freebies: contests, gifts, fun, advice/information. Free is newsworthy. If you’re conducting a contest or giving away a free e-book on your Web site, people want to know about it. Advice and information make great evergreen news releases, and the media loves tip sheets and similar items. Give the top ten ways to tell if your stockbroker has your best interests at heart or the three most important things to consider when choosing a doctor. Take a poll of your customers on a subject related to your business and report the results; it doesn’t have to be scientific or even serious. People like to hear what other people think, and if it’s a fun topic, they enjoy it even more. Ask the customers of your restaurant which is most important in their choices of where to dine: price, location, atmosphere, service, or food. Quiz the visitors to your author Web site about which genres they like to read. Poll shoppers on whether they shop for gifts throughout the year, near the occasion, or at the last minute. This type of news release can pay dividends long past the time it is submitted.

Certainly you can think of more reasons to send a news release. Be creative in finding a hook that makes your news newsworthy.

  • For more ideas about when to send a news release, read these articles:
    12 Reasons To Write And Send Out Press Releases by Alyice Edrich at The Dabbling Mum
    25 Press Release Ideas by Jennifer Mattern at
    Step 1: When to Send a Press Release at CanadaOne
    When to Distribute a Press Release About Your Book by Jennifer Mattern at All Book Marketing
    When to Issue a Press Release by Kevin Nunley at Pertinent Information

The next installment will cover how to write a news release.

[tags]press release, news release[/tags]

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