Press Release Top 10 Dos and Don’ts

1. Do place the text of the release in the body of the email, even if you are attaching it as a document or PDF.  In the subject line put the topic of the release. Examples: “Food bank launches new program Feb. 1”, “Annual Boys and Girls Club gala set for March 15”

2. Photos (and not logos) are great if they are clear, are not cluttered with too many objects or people, and have captions. Do not embed photos in PDFs or Word documents. Attach JPEGS. Do not sent small 15k images, but also don’t send 10MB images either. For the web, 100k is fine. You can always write “high resolution photos available upon request” in the release.

3. Try not to email releases on Mondays or late in the day on Fridays when editors are more overwhelmed. Give editors enough advance notice to attend or cover events. Sending a follow up closer to the date is fine.

4. Do blind copy people on a list and be strategic about who you send releases to, as opposed to blasting a giant list and just hoping for the best. A personal touch sometimes goes a long way.

5. Do not use services like Mailchimp, which often go in SPAM and also technically are supposed to be opt-in only services.

6. Do make sure to add contact information to your release – name, email, phone.

7. Don’t forget to include fundamental information – who, what, where, when, how, why.

8. Do include meaningful quotes.

9. If you quote another person or have someone who is willing to talk to the reporter – a client or volunteer, for example  – include contact info. for that person in the release.

10. Do not write in all caps, do not underline, and use exclamation points sparingly.


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