To give your media release every chance of being picked up by the media, you need to consider when and how to distribute it.
When to distribute it
- Early in the week is best as it tends to be a quiet news time. Weekends can also be good for getting onto Sunday night TV and into Monday’s papers. Avoid Friday – it’s a big news day and there is too much competition.
- You can place an embargo on your story – a request to the media not to use it before the stated date/time. Embargos are almost always honoured and can give journalists time to research and plan their coverage.
- Early in the morning is best – news editors and support staff start their days, and work out what they want to cover, early.
How to distribute it
- You need a list of media contacts. You can distribute your media release to established, commercial-media contact email lists or you can develop your own contact lists.
- Include the media release in the body of your email as plain text – don’t make a journalist open it as an attachment.
- Do not attach documents, images or videos to the email unless the journalist has specifically requested them.
- Print journalists may request photos, and usually prefer them emailed as JPEGs with a resolution of at least 300 dpi.
- Include contact details for everyone who is quoted and for the media assistant.
- If possible, give mobile phone or home phone numbers – the media may want to contact people outside of normal working hours.
- Don’t go on an overseas trip the day you distribute the release. The contact person must be just that – easily contactable.
How to follow up
Always follow up a media release with a phone call to half a dozen key journalists to make sure they received the release and know what is happening.
Mid-morning is a good time to do this.