One of the most popular posts on our blog is our How to Write a New Hire Press Release article. But what happens after you have learned how to write the press release? What do you do with it? Where do you send it and how?
How do I develop a media list to send my new hire release to?
I work as a “content writer” for a small consulting firm. I’m relatively new and still learning the ropes. I was recently tasked with writing a press release announcing our newest hire. I’m struggling to find appropriate media outlets to submit this press release to. How many outlets should I contact? Which newspapers are the most appropriate? What if I can’t find their submission guidelines; should I just send them a regular email with the press released attached?
I haven’t written the press release yet; I still need to interview the new hire. But in the meantime, I thought I would try finding some outlets to submit to. This is proving more difficult than I would have hoped. Unfortunately, my superiors haven’t given me much guidance in this area, so I’m kind of figuring this all out on my own. I’m hoping that someone will have a list of media outlets that our company commonly uses, but in case they don’t, I could really use some advice as to where to start looking. I’m totally in the dark here.
Being given a task such as media release distribution when you’ve never done this before can be overwhelming. Yet it doesn’t have to seem so gigantically impossible.
Common sense approach to developing a media distribution list
Check into your local media outlets including print and digital business news outlets and business e-newsletters. Ask people at your company who they rely on for their local business news. Then visit the outlet’s website and get the information regarding how to submit your news. Some outlets want an email with all the details and a photo, and some can get it themselves if you point to a post on your website using a specific URL. If you cannot post your release to your website, you might look into using Tiny by PitchEngine. Using their service, you can post your news and photos and then tweet the Tiny Pitch URL directly to the news outlets in your area.
If you’re looking to send email directly to journalists and outlets, be aware, most do not accept attachments, and prefer to get all items within an email or be able to go to a specific URL (as outlined above) to download the image and release. Read our post about online media rooms.
Using Twitter, you can create a list of your contacts and then begin to follow them and get to know them. Learn what journalists Tweet about, read their stories and their other social feeds. Create a relationship with them by commenting positively on their posts, or engaging them in conversation regarding their topics. Never forget they are people first. Not simply an outlet.
Above all else, do not spam journalists. Only send the new hire release to those who are tasked with accepting this type of news.
Composing a media list is not hard. You simply need to use some common sense. Need more insights? Read our post on how to create a compelling pitch.
If you would prefer not to do all the heavy lifting yourself, give us a jingle. We’ll we pleased to send your firm’s new hire news to the media.
Photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters
What are the 10 steps to developing a new hire press release?
Announcing a new hire within an organization is one way to keep your firm’s name top of mind. This should be a regular component of your public relations activities.
When your firm has a new hire, you can send the information about their position and their responsibilities to local print and digital outlets in addition to placing the announcement on your company blog. Here are a few tips to help you do that.
10 Steps to writing and sending a new hire announcements
- Gather background information. Including their CV and previous position information which you will need when drafting the press release.
- Obtain a few quotes from them. These should address something about their new responsibilities within the firm. You may also want to gain a few quotes from them about the community in which they will be living, especially if they are new to the area.
- Obtain a quote from the C suite executiveto whom the new hire reports. This is good to do when you have a new hire who is an executive. For example, you might write, “Acme CEO Greg Jones said of Mrs. Smith’s hiring, ‘She brings a wealth of customer service experience to this newly created position overseeing every aspect of customer service.’”
- Get a good headshot. If you are taking the headshot be sure to photograph the subject against a plain, light background with no
furniture, windows, or antenna sprouting from their head.
Examples of new hire bad, better & best headshots
You’ve all seen the head shots where it looks like something in shooting out of the top of someone’s head, or their scalp is bouncing back so much light, that part of the photo is “burned out”(first image on left above.) In years past all headshots were formal (middle image above.) Today we see more personality in headshots (shot of the guy with glasses). While this is good, consider the outlet that will include the image and make sure there is congruence between the outlet’s style and the style of photo you send them. Provide the headshot either as an attachment or more preferably, as a downloadable file from your media area or from an online media room.
- Make a list of media outlets. Create your list before you need it. Take note of the outlets where you find announcements. For example, most daily newspapers have a weekly column that accepts announcements of a new hire. There are many online local business newsletters and sites as well as professional associations that also accept new hire press releases. If your industry has a trade specific journal or magazine, many of these also accept new hire press releases. Create a spreadsheet of the information required by each outlet including the image file format and desired image size as well as submission preferences. These days most outlets prefer to receive releases via e-mail, but every now and again, there will be an outlet that prefers postal mail or even fax.
- Write your press release. If you don’t know how to write a press release, Google it. There are many online resources about writing press releases to help you.
- Gain approval from the appropriate people at your firm.
- Distribute your release in accordance with all the requirements you’ve noted.
- Monitor all the media outlets for inclusion of your release.
- Save copies in a clipping file for your reference in the future.
We use this new hire questionnaire to gather information and are sharing it with you for your use.
If you need help writing and distributing your new hire press releases, give us a call. We offer an all inclusive fee for the writing and distribution of a release to the outlets in your community which accept releases.
Want to develop a new hire press release distribution list?
Follow the steps in this article.
Thanks to flickr creative commons for allowing us to use these headshots.
Photo credits to: (l to r) johnnyryan1, Freddie Murphy, stickwithjosh