Formerly the tool of corporate PR officials, the press release is now something that
can come out with to announce something new and exciting that has to do with his or her company or other enterprise. Authors,
, and, yes, podcasters have sent out press releases.
So the first question is, how do you write it?
The good thing about press releases is that they are incredibly formulaic. Look at any press release and you'll see the same things:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This text always appears in capital
, you can also use EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL....
This includes your
, phone number, email address.
with the first letter of each word capitalized. Be creative and avoid exclamation marks.
Should start with "
" followed by two dashes ()
by single spaces. The paragraph should be a strong
summary of the newsworthy nature of the release. Make the reader care.
Contains supporting information and relevant quotes cleared for media use. Correct spelling and grammar are imperative throughout the press release.
This contains a summary of the facts and a call to action, usually urging the reader to visit a relevant website (say, your podcast's site) for more information.
Starting with "About
:", write a paragraph describing you and your podcast (with URL), the date you
podcasting, how frequent your podcast comes out, and so on. Write about your podcast as if it were your business, and use this same paragraph at the end of every press release, only changing it when something big happens to your podcast (you double your listeners, for example).
Press Enter twice and place three
signs (###) centered on the line to
the end of the press release.
The press release should be kept to 500 words and printed on company/podcast letterhead if mailed or faxed.
Don't be coy with the text: This is a one-page "Just the facts ma'am" info-dump. Remember everything you learned from
and newspaper writing in school and tell who, what, when, where, and why. It's there for people to put out information if they feel like it, but it's also designed to entice people to contact you for an interview, and that's when you get clever. Tell what you want to say in the first sentence. Did you win an award? Did you get an interview with someone who's been in hiding for 4
? Did you land a million-dollar advertising deal for your podcast? Say it up front. Include quotes from yourself. It's here where you can get witty and clever and sell yourself and your podcast.
And now we're to the second question: To whom do you send it?
They're not called "press releases" for nothing. Send them to the press. Local, statewide, maybe even national if you think the news is big enough (hint: it has to be
big). But also send it to
that might be more likely to pick up web-
news, as well as other podcasts that might enjoy hearing about podcasting news.
Another option is to use a service that sends out press releases to a preset
. Most of these services will also write the press release for you. These services aren't cheap, though. Many cost from $99 for the writing to $400 for the release. (But hey, if you've landed that million-dollar ad deal, you can afford a $400 media blitz, right? The rest of us, however, have to do the
work and gather email addresses of media outlets.)
"Like in any press release, keep it brief, avoid the over-techie jargon (such as aggregator, podosphere, podcasting client, and so on), and then focus on telling your media resources what your podcast is all about. Once the press release is done, email, or print-and-fax, that release to as many local contacts as you can."
Tee Morris, author of the podiobook
Some press release service sites you may want to check out are listed here:
PRNewswire is the one that seems to be used the most by podcasters and is one that Rob has used with a decent amount of success.