Is a Press Release Your Best Public Relations Bet?

A press release is undoubtedly important when it comes to drumming up publicity for your business. But should it be the *most* important part of your public relations strategy? A press release may not even be the best way for your company or clients to get publicity for a new product or an important announcement. The following four ideas may actually be more effective than a traditional press release.

1. A newsworthy story. If you don’t have a story that will interest journalists, let alone the public, there’s no reason to issue a press release. Before you draft that press release, make sure you have an angle worthy of the time and expense.

2. Anticipate an editor’s needs. Study local, regional, and national publications that you’re interested in targeting. Determine what sort of stories editors at those publications already publish, and see what gaps in their coverage you can fill.

3. Follow the news cycle. Your press release will have that much more weight with editors and journalists if it ties into a current hot news story, an ongoing trend, or a recurring event like a holiday, election, or the new school year for just a few examples.

4. Follow-through. Mass press release mailings are ineffective. Target your press releases to specific editors and journalists, and then follow up via email or phone. Developing relations with members of the media is much more beneficial than spamming publications blindly.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit:

3 Responses

  1. Sura says:

    I think that following up via the phone after sending the press release is not prefered by journalists.

    If your press release has an important message or a a good story to tell, being delivered early in the morning to the right journalists (concerned in the story), it will be released without the need to follow up. Plus I know many journalist friends who keep complaining from PR agencies or Executives who keep calling them to follow up. In addition, it happened many times that they confirm the receipt of the press release and the release of it but on the second day we don’t find it in any of the newspapers who have confirmed to release it. Media relations in my opinion can be done through many other ways other than following up on press release via the phone. What do you think?

  2. prfuel says:

    Sura, being delivered in the morning has little to do with need for follow up. What matters is the message. If your message is complete and answers the most obvious questions, you are much better prepared when distributing your press release. Regarding follow up of a press release over the phone, that is annoying and a wasted opportunity to pitch the media directly with your core message and then offer to send over the said press release if they don’t have it in front of them. Putting them on the spot and asking if they had received your press release makes them defensive. Defensive journalists are not likely to write stories about your company/product/announcement.

  3. Beth says:

    As a former journalist and executive news producer I can say with certainty that a follow up call does work. But prfuel is correct – if your message doesn’t make sense or has holes in it… or it doesn’t fit with the proper publication or news medium then you will have bothered journalists. If you do your homework ahead of time then you have the best chance for success.

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