A press release is a document issued to the news media, trade and industry analysts, and the general public to announce a product introduction or other newsworthy item. Reporters, editors and journalists are hungry for news, and they often depend on releases to tip them off to new and unusual products, business ideas and other happenings.
Typically, press releases are written by a company or public relations firm and delivered to journalists and analysts for review. If the journalist or analyst finds value in the release, he or she may incorporate it in their next article or broadcast.
The problem for startups is that PR firms can be very expensive, and may be reluctant to work for small companies. In addition, most start-ups do not need to issues press releases constantly and really do not need a PR firm on a full time basis.
Yet, what can startups do when they really need to issue press releases and do not have the time or money to find a PR firm willing to help them? The answer is go to DigitalWork.
Among other things, DigitalWork provides you with the ability to prepare your own press releases - professionally and cost effectively. Read on to see how they do it.
A Streamlined Process
Via DigitalWork's Distribute a News Release service, you can quickly communicate important news about your business to press and analysts throughout the world. With this service, you can distribute your news release to over 22,000 media outlets in over 100 countries. DigitalWork's partnership with PR Newswire ensures your release reaches the proper departments and editors. DigitalWork has simplified the process for sending a news release, allowing you to submit your release in as little as 30 minutes. You can even request to have one of their professional writers review your release, or write a release for you.
DigitalWork's online templates enable you to move through the process quickly. If have a question anywhere along the way, DigitalWork's public relations specialists can help. They've walked small business owners through the service thousands of times and are willing to provide you with the information you need to get your news release into the hands of the media you select. Their product consultants read every release to check for consistency, attribution, professional news style and news content - ensuring that your release is professional and effective.
Preparing Your Press Release
The first step is for you to select your distribution. DigitalWork distributes all releases through its partner, PR Newswire, a world leader in the electronic distribution of news releases to the media. Through its satellite-linked electronic network and exclusive relationships with leading international news agencies, PR Newswire transmits news to thousands of newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, and national wire services and networks.
You make your select geographically. You can select from the most popular distribution options in the United States - national, statewide or a city/metro area. Or, create a customized distribution of multiple U.S. cities and states and/or international regions and countries.
The geographic distribution you select will determine the price of sending your release. Prices for distributing a 400-word release will be displayed for each of your selections.
The media reached in each of the selected distributions includes:
- Daily newspapers and community publications
- Consumer and business magazines
- Television and radio stations
- National Wire services (i.e. Associated Press, Dow Jones, Bloomberg and Reuters)
- Industry or Trade Publications
A nice bonus is that with all U.S. distributions, DigitalWork's editors will distribute your release to all appropriate industry-specific newspapers, newsletters and periodicals at no extra charge.
For example, if your release announces the formation of a new bank, DigitalWork will send your releases to all the trade publications in this category including American Banker, Financial Services Report, and US Banker.
In addition, at no extra change, your release will be sent to over 750 of the world's most widely accessed Internet and online news services. In addition, your release will be posted on DigitalWork.com and our partner sites through a live news feed.
The next step is to enter your news release information. First enter your headline and body text for your release. You can view examples for ideas on how to format your release. DigitalWork also provides tips on how to write your press release.
If you are not really experienced with writing news releases, or don't have time to do it yourself, DigitalWork provides you with the chance to have a professional write your release for you for an additional $149, or have a media relations expert review your release before it is distributed for only $50 extra.
Once you have submitted your order, DigitalWork's product consultants will first check your submission to ensure that it is written in the accepted Associated Newspaper Association (ANPA) format and contains all the required information (headline, contact information, etc.). If the content of the release requires editing, an e-mail with an explanation of the edits needed will be sent to you. Otherwise, the product consultant will format the release to wire style and submit it to PR Newswire for distribution.
Your news release is electronically coded to reach the media that you have selected. At the specified release time, a PR Newswire editor will transmit your release so that it is received simultaneously by the media and, for disclosure purposes, received 15 minutes later by analysts and databases.
Once your release is transmitted, a product specialist will e-mail you a confirmation of the date and time that your news hit the wire. DigitalWork will also provide a link for viewing your release online.
DigitalWork does not guarantee that the media will pick up your release. A press release is not advertising - you are not purchasing coverage in a publication or program. It is up to the media to determine whether or not (and how) they will run your story. In some cases, you may have to rewrite the release and try again, or wait until you have another event, announcement or idea to submit. However, if you hire a PR firm to handle your press releases, they also cannot guarantee that your press releases will indeed be published.
To ensure that your press release has the best chance of being published, it must have broad, general interest and a strong news angle (e.g. drama, human interest, local appeal, consequences, etc.). In addition, your release needs to be written in a journalistic - rather than marketing - style. It should be objectively written as though a reporter were writing the story for you. Most importantly, your release needs to "inform" people, not attempt to sell them something.
Published by Israel's Business Arena on August 22, 2000.