A brief recap of the press release

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PR Distribution

A brief recap of the press release

For the uninitiated, the textbook definition of a press release (see also a news release, media release, or press statement) is a written statement about a matter of public interest that is given to the press by an organization concerned with the matter.

Ironically, the broad nature of this definition can sometimes lead to confusion. It should be noted that not all press releases are written statements—video press releases exist as well. To expand the textbook definition a bit, a press release is also:

An official statement was prepared by an organization and sent to the media with the goal of convincing journalists to publish a story based on the information in the release.

A message meant to be shared widely with stakeholders and the public.

  • Why has this PR business tool withstood the test of time? Because press releases continue to give PR practitioners the opportunity to:

  • Tell the story their way

  • Present the facts

  • Distribute news quickly and cost-effectively

  • Secure media coverage and publicity

  • Expose the brand and message to a wider audience. 

Write your press release

Fairly self-explanatory, writing the press release is step 1. Download our Anatomy of a business Press Releases Guide and Template to learn exactly how to write an amazing press release. Inside the free guide you'll find:


A detailed breakdown of press release components

Basic press release layout

Tips and tricks on writing an effective press release

A press release template worksheet—simply plug your information into this pre-formatted, customizable template and voila!

Distribute your press release

Once the press release is written, it needs to be distributed. This can be done in multiple ways.


1) Targeted media pitches


Newswire services distribute their clients' press releases to a large, broad network of journalists. Similar to a job board, the wire provides a platform where press releases can be posted and then found by any journalist checking the wire that day for a story idea.

3) Social media and owned channels


Post your press release

Once the press release is distributed, it is usually given a permanent place to "live" online where it can be accessed in the future by journalists, stakeholders, or anybody else looking for information. Many organizations have a "Media" or "News" section of their website where all their releases are posted. If a company wants to support its distribution and SEO efforts, or they don't have the resources to post to its own website, it may also decide to post its news release to an external newsroom.


Send the press release to targeted journalists along with a personalized pitch to encourage them to read the release and turn the information into a published news story. This can be done by researching contacts individually, or with the help of a media database.

2) Wire services


Organizations will often also post their press releases on social media channels like Twitter and Facebook and send them to their internal distribution lists (i.e. email newsletters).

Depending on your goals, you can use any combination of these distribution methods. Whatever you choose, once your release is out there, it'll be up to you to do any necessary follow-up with the media. Ideally, you'll be busy responding to journalist requests, or eagerly engaging in some media monitoring to track your coverage! 

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