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By: Wes Upchurch
I’m often asked, when should you send a news release to the media? My response is always the same. If it’s newsworthy and useful to the reader you should send it.

When determining the need to send out a news, there are many things to consider. There are no hard and fast rules, but as a public relations professional I’ve sent out hundreds of press releases over the last several years and the most important thing the remember is to make sure that the release will be of interest to the reader of the publication you are targeting and is newsworthy. If it doesn’t fit these two criteria, you’re just wasting both your own and the editors time.

A well-crafted media release can accomplish many things for your company. It can be used to announce information to the public, your shareholders, your consumers and your competitors about your activities.

Because it can be difficult to determine whether or not something is newsworthy, I press release ideas|ideas for press releases}|developed this list of 25 news release ideas a scholarship – Scholarships bring opportunity to individuals who might not otherwise have the chance to go to school, which is why it always brings good PR along with it.|Announcing a contest or promotion – Who doesn’t want to win something or get something for free?}
Host a seminar, class, or workshop – This is another great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field while educating the public with your message.
Opening or remodeling your exisiting office – Although it isn’t major news, it helps position your business as moving upwards.
Other Media Appearances – If your business has been featured in a major television program or magazine, you can leverage the exposure for additional exposure. The media views mentions in other outlets as a measure of credibility, so let them know.
Announcement of new certifications received – Whether it’s certification from the Green Building Council or ISO 9001 Certification, the third party approval shows how your company is improving it’s existing practices.
Retirement of Longtime Employees – Retaining employees says a lot about the quality of a business and it’s business practices, so you should let the public know about it.
Innovative use for your products – If your product helped someone out of a major bind, it’s might be newsworthy. If they discovered new creative ways to use your product it allows you to feature the product in a new light.
Financial projections and forecasts – Releasing financial information about your company can demonstrate it’s strength, an attractive attribute to investors.
Announce your public appearances – Whether it’s an industry tradeshow or the county fair, your customers want to know where you’ll be.

So you’ve written your media release, but what’s next? How do you get your story in the hands of the media? {Should you submit the release yourself or hire a public relations firm|Can your business handle the media relations or should you hire a public relations {professional|specialist|firm? The following questions may help answer your question:

Are we getting the publicity we deserve?
Would additional media coverage increase the amount of business to our company?
Have we prepared an effective PR strategy that brings media coverage year round?
Does our competition an unfair amount of media coverage?
Have we prepared a press kit to give to journalists and interviewers with the necessary items? Are we able to keep this up-to-date?
Do we have the staff to handle media requests and effectively communicate our message with the media?

Let’s begin by defining what a public relations firm is and what it does. Many people don’t understand the difference between a Public Relations firm and a marketing firm or ad agency. A PR firm handles media relations. It is the interface between a company and the news media, focusing on the company’s reputation and image. A marketing firm, on the other hand, handles advertising placements or develops advertising messages and strategies.

The PR firm or specialist, often referred to as the publicist, will pitch journalists and editors on a story idea involving a business, idea or individual. The PR firm will attempt to match a story with a particular media outlet with respect to the interests the people who read, watch or listen to that particular outlet.

Many large companies handle their public relations in-house by maintaining as staff trained in media relations, while others hire outside PR firms and or publicists to handle their media campaigns. The route your company should take depends upon your company’s own resources and needs.

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These were written by, Wes Upchurch and distributed through the PressDr's

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