29 Things You Need to Know about News Releases

In 20 years I’ve seen a lot of marketing–some that worked well and some that didn’t. I’ve distilled 20 years of seeing what worked and boiled it down to these 29 tips about using news releases (often called press releases from the days when newspapers and magazines were people’s main sources of news). 1stchoicepestcontrol Here’s what I’m sharing with you:

The 4 reasons you should be using news releases regularly


  • The 7 elements of a good news release
  • The 9 types of topics that tend to get picked up
  • The 5 groups of people you must send your release to
  • The 4 OTHER things you should do with it valuebul

The 4 reasons to use news releases regularly


Once is not enough–in more ways than one. Name recognition is almost never built by a single document, no matter how exciting or noteworthy the topic; it must be regular and ongoing. Choose a frequency you can live with–once or twice a month is ideal. civirtualtours


  1. Publicity – any name recognition is good; favorably written recognition is excellent!
  2. Credibility – people tend to believe you’re good if they read that you’re doing good things, and especially if you’re doing them with other well-known names
  3. Trust – your prospects and customers develop a feeling of comfort and trust when they see you visible in the marketplace–it confirms the intelligence of their decision to do business with you
  4. Generate fresh content for your marketing campaigns–direct mail, website, vitamondo etc.–and remind yourself how good you are!

The 7 essential elements of a good press release



  1. Contact
  2. Headline, sub-headline
  3. City of origin, date
  4. The news hook
  5. The benefit(s) to audience
  6. The quotes (one high exec from your company and from the other organization involved-whether customer, vendor, government agency, or whatever)
  7. The Plug

Newsworthy topics come in 9 categories

  1. inventions – new processes
  2. improvements – dramatic changes in materials/processes
  3. new clients – new projects
  4. work you are doing with associations/other high-profile types
  5. promotions of staff
  6. new hires for significant positions in the company
  7. new partnerships with 3rd party vendors
  8. pro bono work for high-profile organizations
  9. any activity that involves you or someone else making money, making new connections (partnerships), making progress

The 5 groups you should send your release to



  1. The press – target publications and/or other media
  2. Prospects – purchased or, preferably, homegrown lists
  3. Customers
  4. Vendor partners
  5. Professional associations/networking groups

The 4 OTHER things you can do with your news release



  1. Immediately post the press release on your website. Place a link from the home page to your “press room.” If you do your own website, this is cost-free. If you hire outside help, it is still simple and inexpensive.
  2. If you should by chance also get a story published, you may make some machine copies of the article (if you’re allowed) and include them in your snail mailing. N.B. Just make sure you’re not violating copyrights. Many publications require you to pay reprint fees.
  3. N.B. There are no restrictions on making copies of your own news releases! Make copies of the news release and put them in the information kits you hand out or send to visitors and prospects. Include a copy in that month’s invoices.
  4. Post the press release (or any published story) prominently in selected spots in your office–wherever employees and visitors will see it.
  5. If you are doing a promotional or newsletter mailing to prospects, include a reference (and a link) to the news release. If the release has been posted on any publication websites such as Yahoo, you may choose to make the link to that location.


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