A press release is a letter that businesses send to press outlets to notify them of newsworthy events or changes occurring with their products. It is also commonly used to gain exposure for a new business.
You might think to yourself, “why would the newspaper / magazine / TV news think my Etsy store is worth publishing??” Well, there are a lot of reasons! One, not everyday is full of car chases, robberies and Octo-moms. There are slow news days that need “filler” stories, usually feel-good stories. Another reason is Etsy is not very well known yet. News outlets who have not picked up on it yet might see it as actual news since they would be informing the public on a new and exciting way to shop online.
§ Think of all the exposure your Etsy shop would get from being featured in a newpaper, magazine or *gasp*…the local TV news! Plus….it’s FREE!
There is a standard way of writing a press release, and you should not get creative on this…stick to the standard! Press outlets are very busy and receive tons of releases a day. They won’t waste their time trying to decipher a poorly structured letter. I am going to use my own Etsy shop as an example in the following step by step instructions:
The Headline: Always begin with “FOR IMMEDIATE RELASE”. Attention grabbing sentence that summarizes the release. Written in bold, with all nouns capitalized:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
kMT Graphic Design helps Etsy Shops Brand their Images
The body of the release: This should include the 5 W’s; what, why, where, when and who. It should be concise and to the point, and written the way you would like to have it published. Don’t use industry specific words unless you explain their meanings. Always start this section with the city and state (& country if outside the publishing area) that the company resides in:
Los Angeles, CA: Thinking of joining the Etsy community to sell your handmade goods? You will probably need help designing the graphic “look” of your shop and kMT Graphic Design specializes in just that. …
Company Information Section: This is all about you and your company:
kMT Graphic Design is owned by Tara Shenson of Long Beach, CA. Her shop has only been open since January of 2009, but is steadily gaining recognition in the Etsy community. kMT Graphic Design specializes in Etsy shop design, Twitter backgrounds, Blog design and set up and stationary design. kMT currently has a Twitter following of 1700 and 62 blog followers.
Contact Information: This is how the editor will contact you. It should include:
Telephone and fax
Best time to contact you
Every press release should end with 3 ###. This is a journalistic standard to signal the end of the release.
§ Always address the release to the appropriate editor. You can find this information on the publications website
§ Google “craft magazines” to get a list of handmade publications (there’s a lot!!)
§ Send releases to your local newspapers, and college newspapers are great as well
§ Send releases via email, in the body of the email (not as an attachment), unless specified otherwise by the publication.
§ Include 1-3 product photos with your email. Name the files by what they are and include your company name in the file name.
§ Follow up with the editor 2-3 weeks after you send the email with a friendly email inquiring as to the status of your story.
Here are some sites that have sample press releases for you to reference: