How to Get Your Press Release Picked Up and Published

The following guest post was written by Vicky Fraser. The author’s views are entirely her own and may not reflect the views of If you are interested in producing a Guest Post for this blog, please get in touch with your ideas.


Thousands of press releases land in the inboxes of journalists every day. Why on Earth should they bother properly reading, let alone publishing, yours?

The hard truth is that nobody is as interested in your business as you. If you want people to read about it, you need to give them something fascinating to read. But first, you need to generate press interest and spark a story idea for the journalists to whom you’re sending the release.


Not only do publications receive thousands of press releases, many of them are badly written, overlong and full of spelling and grammatical mistakes.

Others are stuffed full of meaningless marketing waffle and jargon, while others are just a thinly (or not so thinly) veiled advertorial. Still more are irrelevant to either the industry area covered by the publication, or the geographical area, or both.

Once your press release lands on the desk of a journalist or news editor, its fate is in their hands. However, there are a few things you can do to improve its chances of publication.

1.     Keep it clear, short and simple

If a press release is longer than one page of A4, it will often get put straight in the bin. Make sure the headline grabs people’s attention but is descriptive of the content, and ensure the first paragraph summarises the press release succinctly and engagingly.

Don’t use marketing waffle, jargon or the hard sell. The purpose of a press release is to impart news, not sell a product. Tell a story and raise your business’s profile: that’s what it’s all about.

2.     Think of your press release as a tool for the journalist

Remember two things about journalists: firstly, they are people too, and if your press release doesn’t interest them, they won’t publish it.  Secondly, they are very busy. Budgets have been cut, staffing levels are lower than they’ve ever been, and they (local papers, certainly) genuinely find it difficult to source and write great stories.

With this in mind, be helpful! Make it as easy as possible for the journalist to publish your press release. The less they have to do to knock the release into shape, the more likely it is to get published.

If you don’t have much experience writing press releases, do a little research. Take a look at articles in newspapers and magazines, and try to emulate them. Include quotes from relevant people – journalists love this, because it saves them having to contact you themselves.

3.     Send your press release to the right places

It may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning anyway. If your business is a technology firm and you’re talking about an award you won (for example), don’t send your press release to Horse and Hound or Ideal Home magazine.

Similarly, if your story is a local interest one, don’t send the press release to publications outside your geographical area. They won’t use it.

4.     Send it to the right people

A little research goes a long way. When you’re building your distribution list, spend some time finding out which journalists to target. Many smaller publications will simply have a “news desk” email address, but others will have health reporters, technology reporters, political reporters, etc.

If your press release goes to the right person first time, it shows you’ve done your research as well as reducing the chances that it will get lost.

5.     Check, check, and check again

As a sad indictment of today’s education standards, more and more press releases arrive full of spelling and grammar mistakes, and typos. They are very unlikely to be used and the business’s card is usually marked by the journalists receiving such releases.

The value of proofreading cannot be understated: get your press release checked before you send it anywhere. Check for spelling, grammar and general sense and interest.

Putting out great press releases will create goodwill with the journalists you’re targeting. If you get a reputation as a good PR, you will find that journalists start to come to you. A solid relationship with a reporter is like gold dust: difficult to stumble upon, but extremely valuable.

Don’t forget, too, that there is a multitude of online press release portals that you can use for distribution. There’s a lot of mileage in a good press release: it can be reused on blogs and website news sections, shared via social media, and linked to by customers and partners. So make it SEO-friendly too and let it work harder for you, your customers and the publication to which you’re submitting it.


Vicky Fraser is a freelance copywriter and marketeer based in Warwickshire. Being a science nerd undertaking a physics degree, she specialises in simplifying and clarifying scientific and technical copy but writes about all manner of things for a wide variety of clients. She blogs about science, freelancing and writing – amongst other things.

Related Posts with Thumbnails


There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment