How to email a press release to journalists

media relations

Today’s video tutorial answers what could be the question I receive the most: What’s the best way to e-mail a press release to a journalist or reporter?

To learn how to do it, watch the step-by-step video below or read the loose transcript of my online instructions below the video. (To see the on-screen steps better, use the “full screen” icon in the lower right of the video box.)

How to send it with email

Today I’m going to answer a question I get asked all of the time: What’s the best way to e-mail a press release about your book to a journalist or a reporter?

I can tell you now what the worst way is – sending it as an attachment.

I know authors do it that way because I receive them in my e-mail.

Journalists – and others — usually won’t open attachments from people they don’t know. That means the press release doesn’t get read, and it could explain some of the disappointing results.

I’ll walk you through the process on my computer screen. It will only take a few minutes.

What you do want to do is copy and paste. You don’t want to attach anything – whether it’s a press release or photos.

  1. Start with a catchy subject line. Don’t use “press release from author” or “News release.” You can copy and paste the headline of your press release – that can work. I write something catchy and have it prepared in my Word file with the press release. I’ve used “New book shares pro’s press release secrets” because the press release we’re working with announces my book[1], which teaches authors how to write a book announcement press release.
  2. Then add a short introduction that personalizes the message and says something like, “I hope you can use this; let me know if you have questions.”
  3. Copy and paste your press release into the e-mail message form.
  4. Add your signature.
  5. Check everything over.
  6. Fill in the “To” line. If it’s just one person, just type in the e-mail address. If you’re sending it to several at once, you want to protect their privacy and e-mail addresses by not using the “To” space. When sending to more than one person, put all addresses in the BCC line (blind carbon copy) and send it to yourself.
  7. Hit the send button.

That’s it. In summary, you need:

  • A great subject line
  • Quick cover note
  • The press release copied and pasted
  • E-mail signature
  • The “To” line and “BCC” line completed (when appropriate)
  • Review before sending

Press release distribution services

When you want to send your press release to a large media list, you’re better off using a press release distribution service. My favorite is eReleases[2] for a number of reasons that include control over your your media selection and customer service. (That’s an affiliate link.)

Because these services continually update their media contacts, they save you a great deal of time. Some even help you improve your press release — never a bad thing.

Still have a question about this? Free free to ask a comment here or send me an email[3].

1 2