Whether you just won a Best of Home Care Award, signed a new partnership, or started a new senior program, your hard work is newsworthy. So why aren’t you making the news? Perhaps like many providers, you understand the importance of contacting media outlets, but you don’t know where to start. To make it simple to get your news to the press, here is a basic guide for assembling and distributing a topnotch press release for your home care agency.
How to format a press release:
- Create a template that includes the following formatting. The rest you can fill in each time you have news.
- Put words “For immediate release” at the top of the page.
- Center the headline and bold the text.
- Begin the first paragraph with a dateline or the city and state where the news is coming from.
- Include contact information at the top or bottom of the page, including the name, email, and title of the media contact.
What to write in a press release:
- Title—start with a simple, engaging title. You want it to capture the essence of the news, but it shouldn’t exceed 10 words.
- First paragraph—try to summarize and cover the most important details in the first paragraph. As you write it, assume that it’s the only paragraph the reporter will read to determine if it’s newsworthy.
- Content—write your content like a reporter, in a professional, third-person voice. Cover the news in a pyramid style, with the most important information first. Try to include at least one quote as well as photos or a video to make the content more appealing for publication..
- Timing—unless you’re planning the release around a certain event or timeframe, you should send your release early in the week and early in the day. This makes it more likely to make it into the news cycle.
- Personalize—send the release to one publication at a time or use blind carbon copy (BCC) to hide other recipients. This makes the release feel more personal and unique to this outlet.
- Top outlets—evaluate your top media outlets (4–5 sources), and contact them personally immediately before or after sending the release. This gives you an opportunity to draw their attention to your release and to help them see why it’s newsworthy. It also gives them the opportunity to ask for further details directly
Where to send a press release:
1. Local media outlets
- Daily newspapers—contact the city editor or the editor of the section most related to your release (business, family, food, etc.).
- Weekly newspapers—contact the content editor or editor of the most related section.
- Magazines—contact the managing editor or editor of the most related section.
- Radio stations—contact the news director.
- TV stations—contact the news director.
2. Online newspapers and media outlets
- Community papers, newsletters, and discussion boards—contact the editor or post directly.
- Local social media groups and boards—contact the editor or post directly.
3. Bloggers and industry leaders
- Look up names of key bloggers and leaders in related fields online or in directories—locate their email addresses and contact them directly.
4. Distribution service
- Free services—send your release for free to obtain limited exposure with a certain number of news sources. While these services may not publish your release beyond their own site, they do help build on keywords, links, tags, etc., which contribute to the traffic to your site.
- Paid services—send your release for a small fee to gain exposure to a large range of news wires.
5. Company blog
- While you can’t guarantee publication of your release on other sites, you can always publish on your own blog and social media sites to inform clients and potential clients of company news.
When your agency achieves something important, especially a Best of Home Care Award, you should let everyone know about it. Effectively using a press release is a simple and professional way to get the word out.
Visit our Resource Library for dozens of free tools, templates, webinars, and resources to help you reduce caregiver turnover, market to referral sources, increase client satisfaction, and manage your home care business.