Though there are a lot of reasons to just post your press release on some of those websites that accept press release uploads (more on how to do that in an upcoming blog), the entire point of writing a press release is to get media coverage.
If you think that your copy is newsworthy, then why not shoot for the stars?
Here are a handful of tried-and-true tips to get your press releases picked up by media outlets each and every time.
Take some serious time to research what type of media outlets will suit your needs. Sure, everyone wants to be on the Today Show or linked on the Huffington Post, but not everyone gets there. Really, what it boils down to is finding what outlets serve your business.
After you've made your potential media outlet list, spend some time reading what sort of stories and articles they publish. Go back through their archives to get a feel for what they're looking for. Narrow down your list based off of what you've learned. Never, under any circumstances, do you generally blast every single media outlet out there. That, too, is called spamming, and your beloved press release will be recycled, deleted or used as a coaster.
The next step is to reach out to your intended media list to find out how they like to receive press releases. Say they like to receive them via email, ask if they want it as a text document, PDF or dropped directly into the body of the email. How do they like photos? JPEG? High resolution? Finding out how separates you from the rest.
What sells newspapers? Stories that are touching, compelling or controversial. Spin your content so that its less about you and more about the problem that you're solving. Have a reasoned voice in an on-going issue. Whatever. If you want the likes of CNN, then don't write dry copy.
Watch the News
Don't expect your compelling story to compete for the media's attention on a day filled to the brim with important, earth-shattering news. Even if you're picked up, you'll be buried down at the bottom. If it's a hot news day, sit on your press release (if you can).
After you've sent out your press releases, follow up with the outlets to ensure that they received them and that you're available for questions. But, don't be annoying and ask them when are they going to run your story. Amateur.
Golden Press Release Rule
Just because it isn't published, doesn't mean that you've lost. What really happens is that your press release is archived for future reference and will be pulled if the issue all of a sudden becomes hot. Also, when you get that major story in the major outlet, the media will review all of your other press releases for that one story to fill in some details.