You’re written your press release and now you want to send it to the local media. (If you haven’t read our article How To Write A Press Release, you may want to review that first.)
Determine Your Target Market
The first step in preparing to send your press release is to determine who your target market is. Who is most likely to be interested in the information you are writing. Parents? Kids? Pet owners? Cigar-aficionados? The better able you are to understand who needs this information, the more likely you are to find the outlet that is willing to publish it for you.
Set Up Your Media Contact List
The next step is to start a media contact list. Make a list of all the newspapers, magazines, and radio stations in your area. Once you have completed that list, review it to determine which of these address the audience you want to see your story.
Build Out the Contact List
When you’ve determine which media you want to send the release to, call them. Explain who you are and what you have written. You may think it’s easier to just send it in, no questions asked but this call is your opportunity to give them a heads up about what is to come. Make sure you are sending it to the right person—ask them to whom you should send the release. Get the correct spelling of their name. Do they prefer it mailed, faxed or emailed?
Sending the press release in a timely fashion is important, too. Ask about their deadline schedule. Send it too early and it could get lost. Send it to late and you’ve missed your opportunity.
Make the most of your phone call. Having a relationship with someone on staff, even if it’s just a phone conversation, is a great way to get your foot in the door. Ideally the story will be so compelling that they’ll want to do a follow up story later. Keep the lines of communication open and keep careful track of the information you collect so next time you have it on hand.