Submit Press Release
Have a business news tip or announcement of a local company? We’d love to hear about it.
Submit your press release below, and be sure to read our press release guidelines below to help you get the most out of your submission.Fax: 970-424-5134 Phone: 970-424-5133 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: The Business Times 609 North Ave Suite #2 Grand Junction CO 81501
Press Release Guidelines
The article below is a reprint of an excellent article that outlines how to write a press release so that The Business Times (and other media outlets) will be more inclined to publish it. Please read it carefully before submitting a press release.
Remember, The Business Times does not make any guarantees that your story will be published. These guidelines are put in place to help us select the best stories that are most pertinent to our readers.
How to tell your story to the news media
by Phil Castle
As editor of a business journal, I’m in a unique position to observe the juxtaposition of two truths. Nearly every business has a compelling story to tell. Very few businesses tell their stories well. And it all begins with the news release.
Since I’m in the business of writing about business, I have a self-serving interest in promoting the quality and quantity of news releases I receive. Moreover, it helps fulfill my goal of providing Business Times readers with news, views and advice they can use. But there’s a lot more involved than making my job easier. Even in an age of Web sites, blogs and tweets, old-fashioned media coverage still affords businesses an important opportunity to connect with potential customers as well as establish name recognition and credibility. In addition, media coverage is only as costly as the time and expense involved in writing and sending out a good news release and then cooperating with the media doing the story.
Perhaps the best first step in the process is to gain a better understanding of the basic operations of news media. Business journals, magazines, newspapers, radio stations and television stations inform and entertain readers, listeners and viewers.
But they’re also businesses that sell advertising as a means to reach those readers, listeners and viewers. It’s a symbiotic relationship. Content attracts the audience advertisers want to reach. Advertising pays for providing the content.
It’s important to remember the distinction between news and advertising in writing a news release. Editors and news directors look for information that interests readers, listeners and viewers.
A pitch to buy a product or service is better suited for an advertisement. I relish the opportunity to publish information about new businesses, new hires and new products because readers consistently tell me they’re interested in those things. A release about an upcoming sale or discount? Not so much. Those who aren’t sure if a news release is actually newsworthy should ask themselves this question: Who cares? If they weren’t involved in the business themselves, would they care enough to read, listen to or watch the story?
It’s also helpful in writing a news release for a particular media outlet to become familiar with that outlet. If you want to publish something in the Business Times, it’s a good idea to read the Business Times. It’s far easier to tailor a news release to a media outlet if you’re familiar with the kinds of news that outlet prints or broadcasts. Moreover, it saves considerable time and effort in writing and sending news releases to outlets when there’s no chance those outlets will ever use that information. I review hundreds of news releases on a weekly basis, but publish only those related to businesses and business operations in the Grand Valley and Western Colorado. That’s because of the readership The Business Times serves. The other releases end up in the trash. But there are many other media outlets that would use the releases because they offer information useful to their audiences.
There are still other news releases that I would love to run, but can’t because they were submitted too late. That’s why it’s important to know the publication or broadcast schedule of a media outlet, particularly print outlets that don’t come out every day. It does little good to submit a news release about an event that occurs the next day to a journal that doesn’t publish another issue for a week. Timing is an even a bigger deal for magazines, which often prepare content months in advance of publication.
In writing a news release, keep in mind the two objectives involved. The first objective, of course, is to communicate through the media the basic facts at hand: a new location, promotion or change in ownership, for example. The second objective is to sufficiently arouse the interest of editors and news directors to make them want to pursue a story in a more in-depth fashion. Many of the best stories published in the Business Times originated as short news releases. I didn’t want to just run the news release. Rather, I felt compelled to interview those involved, shoot photographs and publish a more thorough account.
To that end, it’s essential that news releases include contact information — preferably both a telephone number and e-mail address. And when an editor, news director or reporter calls, respond promptly and accommodate their requests in a timely manner.
News people are busy, too, and quickly move on to other stories if they encounter too much difficulty. I’ve lost count of the stories I haven’t published because a business owner or manager wouldn’t return a phone call. It kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?
Marketing firms and advertising agencies offer assistance in writing press releases and handling media relations. They make the process easier. But for small firms that can’t yet hire such professionals, there’s still hope. Try not to get caught up too much in the wording or format of a news release. Focus instead on conveying important facts. The old journalistic convention of the five Ws still works. Describe the who, what, when, where and why. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with submitting a news release containing only those five statements.
The Business Times web site located at www.TheBusinessTimes.com includes a form for submitting a news release that follows that basic format. If there’s something new or unique involved, though, make sure to include that information as well. That’s the very essence of news and likely to pique the interest of an editor or news director.
I can’t speak for other media outlets, of course. As for The Business Times, I’m anxious to share your news. Send me your news releases. Tell me a story.