The Six Questions to Ask BEFORE You Send a Press Release


You are carefully crafting your campaign to hit your communications objectives and to make your messages stand out from others. This checklist will help you format your content and make it ready for discovery and interaction by the right people, all to maximize your results.

The Six Basic Questions For Preparing a Release

  • 1. Do I have all of the necessary components required to get this release over the wires?

  • 2. Is there a PR or marketing person designated as the contact for my company?

  • 3. Is the city in the dateline reported correctly?

  • 4. Is the company description at the bottom of the release our most recent and up-to-date version?

  • 5. Am I targeting the right people with this release, making the correct designations for distribution?

  • 6. Should I be using a Microlist?

After answering these six questions, you will be ready tackle some more advanced tactics to boost the performance of your release.

Make Your Headline Compelling

When crafting your headline, remember to ask the question, "Why is this message important to the reader?" Your headline determines if your release is worth reading and also drives social sharing, click-through rates, and has an impact on search engine results. Best practices indicate that 65-80 characters (including spaces) should be the maximum character count for any release headline.1

Format for an Easy Read

Components of your content need to work to your advantage. Use bullet points and bold subheads to draw your readers’ eyes deeper into the content and to surface key messages and facts.

Include a Call to Action

All content should lead readers down a path to a specific CTA that is also a step toward your overall objective. It could be a contact point for media inquiries, a white paper download for the B2B space or a link to a microsite for a new consumer product.

Multimedia Is a Must Have

Content that includes multimedia elements has been proven to generate better results for views and sharing.2 Do everything you can to incorporate visuals and videos into your releases, ready for a journalist’s story, or to be shared by a reader. PR Newswire offers an easy-to-use set of multimedia distribution options.

Make Your Content Easy to Share

Social sharing seeds future discovery, so encourage it by embedding sharable content in your release. PR Newswire helps by including share buttons on all releases on and ensuring that your content renders well when shared in our network. We also offer SocialPost, curated, industry-specific Twitter feeds, as a distribution option.

Distribute Your Content

Choosing the right distribution option depends on your communications objectives and audience. If your goal is to reach as wide of an audience as possible, a nationwide or even international distribution selection makes sense. If your target is narrow, distribute your content to a local or regional area. PR Newswire has the largest content distribution network, with options to share your content as broadly and or as focused as needed.

Target Your Audience

If your objective is to reach a select audience, consider segmenting your content for a list of key industry contacts and outlets, or a build a custom list just for this announcement. With Microlists and our custom list builder, we offer several options to target your message.

Timing Matters

Avoid sending your release on the hour. By sending your release on off-minutes you will avoid clutter and help it stand out. If your announcement is market-related, sending at 4:01 Eastern is best practice. If you are distributing your release internationally, remember to take time zones into consideration.

Evaluate Your Performance

Every release sent through PR Newswire has a Visibility Report that provides key metrics around is performance. Tie these data points, such as impressions, engagement level, and media views, back to your objectives to prove the value of your efforts and optimize your process to improve results next time.

Make sure to take each of these steps into consideration before sending your release and you will be boosting your chances to reach—or even exceed—your communication goals.


PR Newswire's portfolio of services and solutions helps communicators of all stripes achieve their communications goals—from building awareness with new audiences and gaining media pickup, to managing reputation and inspiring investor confidence—by sharing, targeting, tracking and enhancing your unique content to make the most of your content investment.