Tips for submitting press releases to the features department
We get a lot of press releases in our department – sometimes several each day. Here's a guide to making sure your press release gets to us, and some advice about how to make it more useful to us.
Please remember, we choose to cover events based on their newsworthiness.
The best way to submit releases is via e-mail to features (at) news-gazette.com or news (at) news-gazette.com (one or the other, but NOT both).
Please paste the text of the release into the body of the e-mail (just in case we can't open the attachment) and attach a text or .doc file. Sending press releases as a poster, a flat PDF or a .jpg (yes, really, we get some in this format) makes it hard for us to use them. And please, never send us a release in all-caps.
Here are a few more press release tips:
- Use Associated Press Style. It doesn't have to be perfect, but keep the basics in mind. Organize the pertinent facts by time, date and then place. Use quotation marks around titles of things like exhibits and movies, but not other printed publications. The less rewriting your release requires, the easier it is for us to use.
- Give us plenty of time to plan. In the features department, we plan a month in advance, at least. If you send a press release a week before your event, we may not have a chance to preview it. If we are able to do something with your release, we'll have to scramble, which is stressful.
- Keep newsworthiness in mind. Is it timely? Is someone well-known involved? Does it affect a large population? Begin your press release with the most important information, so it's easy for us to see why the topic of the release are important. If the release is about an event, please include the details of time, date and place in the first paragraph.
- If you're able, consider if and when we've covered an event previously. If it's something we've done, consider pitching a new angle. If you're alerting us of several items, begin with the one we haven't covered before.
- If you can connect your topic to an actual story, let us know in the release. For example, a local mentoring group wanted us to write a story about their 10th anniversary. They were able to connect us with a mentor and mentee that have been together that whole time. These human connections often make events or occurrences more interesting, and it allows us to give the story better placement, as well.
Again, there is no guarantee that we will cover your event or do a rewrite on a release. But following these simple steps will make it much easier for us to consider them.