The first step in order to submit free press releases is to build your media list. When you build your media list make sure you have the updated contact information for media agencies in your niche. There are two sources that you can look for the press release or traditional news agencies and the non-traditional ones. Choose agencies that are relevant to your news release and target audience.
Use a spreadsheet in Google or Excel and list down the name of the agency, contact person, contact number and email address. Identify the best person in that agency for you to engage and build a relationship with. Look for someone who is also interested in your niche, these are the best people to submit your press release to for publication.
Traditional news agencies include television stations, newspapers and radio stations plus their websites. Look for these types of news agencies in your area. There is a website that may be helpful like Hey.Press or you can just type in a search using Google. The websites that appear on the top results are likely the most influential sites in your area.
Once you have identified a specific media outlet, it’s time to target your point person in that agency. Websites of news agencies have a list of their journalists with their area of expertise. Select the one one who covers your industry and include the person on your list.
There are a lot of non-traditional sources of news like Facebook groups, blogs, and different business organizations. They may not be official news carriers, but they are also effective in spreading the news about a new product or service.
You can search Google once more for relevant blogs in your industry. On Facebook, you can start joining groups that are relevant to your niche and start posting relevant content. Follow influential people on Twitter by searching for your City name and see a list of “who to follow.” You can also search places on Instagram that are near your current location and find top posts or influential accounts in your area.
When you submit a press release, there are guidelines that you need to follow which are specific requirements for each news organization. There are submission pages on a news agencies website where you can just click a link a proceed to submit your release. Get familiar with submission guidelines so that your release will have a higher chance of getting picked up by journalists.
Guidelines will cite what kind of news the agency is interested in like sports, tips, local events, and commentaries from business leaders. Technical data will also be specified regarding the submission like word count, file type, format, etc.
If you ignore these submission guidelines, there is a big chance that your press release will be found in the trash folder of your journalist or editor. If your release makes it, you will be notified by email on next steps depending on the agencies submission process.
If there are no submission guidelines, you can contact someone from the agency directly and inquire about them. Better to be informed of the proper way to do things than guess if you did things the right way.
You can now proceed with submitting your press release. This involves emailing the release directly to your contact person at the media agency. If you are announcing an upcoming event, submit your release 1 to 2 weeks in advance.
The right format for your email would be to write the topic of your release on the subject line. Greet the journalist personally, then introduce your business in the first paragraph. Explain the purpose of your email and that you are sending a press release. Always include a call to action in order for the journalist to reply. Thank them and offer to provide more information if they are interested.