A press release (aka a media release) is a public relations announcement sent out to the media and other targeted publications to let the public know what's going on with you and your business. It's a way to get coverage in newspapers, magazines, websites and blogs.
Before sending off your next press release, here's what you should know to make it effective:
Have a good reason to write and send one. A few reasons to send a press release: You're starting a new business, celebrating a business anniversary, launching a new product, you've received an award, or you're hosting an event.
Watch the length. If you're sending a hard copy of your press release, it should be no longer than two pages. If you're sending it electronically, it should be between 300-500 words.
Include contact information. This includes your (or the contact person's) name, phone number, email address and fax number. You want to be sure the person reading can easily figure out who she can contact for more information. If she can't get in touch with someone, your information may lose its appeal, and you may lose the chance of being published. Be sure to include the date as well.
Use AP (Associated Press) Style. This is what journalists use; and by using this style, the editor won't have to change anything, which makes his/her job easier (and that's always good).
Create an attention-grabbing headline. Although an editor/publisher will likely rewrite it, your press release should have a good headline for two reasons: 1) It helps ensure the press release gets to the right person; and 2) It helps determine the content of the press release.