The press release is an important publicity tool that barely costs a cent. However, a press release, especially a poorly written one, is easy to get buried among a huge number of emails coming to a reporter’s email box every day. I happened to find this old article “How To Write a Press Release, with Examples” by CBS Money Watch. I also read a very good guide to writing press releases yesterday: A Complete Guide to Writing an Effective Press Release. Those two articles gave me lots of insight into what type of press releases may get reporters’ attention.

From my understanding, the first thing we should be aware of is to write press releases with our audience in mind. A press release has a much higher possibility of getting covered if it is packed with stories concerning readers rather than business cliches. I had experience working in a newsroom before. Whenever I wrote a story as a journalist, I needed to make sure there was in fact a “story” worth covering. In that light, a same rule can be applied to writing press releases. We need to make sure there is a “story” that might interest journalists and their audience. The CBS article gave us an idea of what kind of press releases do have a story worth covering.

The second thing we need to pay attention to is target audience and target media. What is the press release about? Who will this release be most relevant to? What type of newspapers or magazines are more likely to cover this topic? Identifying the target audience and target media is a prerequisite to an appropriate use of language and content. For example, we should not put a bunch of terminologies in a press release sent to a local daily newspaper. I think a good strategy is to draft and send different versions of a press release to different types of newspapers or magazines.

One last thing is to have an effective communication with reporters. A follow-up call after emailing reporters press releases is desirable. Contacting reporters whom you want to cover the release personally is a good idea too. Besides, structure and style the press release in a way that makes reporters’ job easy. See A Complete Guide to Writing an Effective Press Release. If you have high-quality and publishable photos, send them with the press releases too.


(1) Social Media Coordinator

  1. “Monitor relevant websites daily for PR opportunities, including Google Alerts, Dealer Rater, Yelp, Twitter, etc.”
  2. “Weekly blogging with emphasis on SEO optimization.”
  3. “Interface with vendors responsible for managing and updating Toyota Carlsbad social media channels including Facebook and Twitter.”

This position mainly does social marketing job via online platforms. The main responsibility is to take advantage of web to promote the reputation of Toyota Carlsbad. I do know how to use social media websites such as twitter and Facebook. However, I still lack the skills to promote certain ideas via those platforms. When I read this ad, I even do not know what SEO means at first. This position requires that I should not only know how to blog or twit, but I should also know how to post contents for social media platforms wisely so that customers will absorb my idea in a quick and easy way.

(2) Social Media Manager

  1. “Define, implement and execute an integrated social media strategy for select social networks.”
  2. “Collaborate cross-functionally to grow our Twitter following.”
  3. “Understand what it takes to drive ROI from Twitter and Foursquare.”

This position is really demanding. I may not qualify this position even after about five years. Lots of working experience in social media managing is required for this position. However, I am still interested in this job and hope I will be able to do that someday. To qualify this position, I need to grasp the skills to do cross-platform promotion of brands online. At present, I only know how to post certain contents for different social media platforms. However, as a social media manager, I need to make strategic plans for branding using social media tools, which means I need a full understanding of the characters of each certain social media format. I have to expand the brand to our target audience. In addition, I need to keep it in mind that this promotion is part of business and the final goal is to optimize the profits through investing effort in this social media management.

(3) Social Media Manager

  1. “Spend time at NorthPark Center as often as possible to gather information and photos and provide a real-time experience for social media followers.”
  2. “Assist in optimizing the shopper experience across NorthPark’s social platforms.”
  3. “Ensure all relevant information and promotions are disseminated through these networks with channel-appropriate content.”

This position requires that I present real-time information at North Park Center to online audience through various social media networks. That demands multi-media skills including writing, taking photos and maybe recording audio and video. The good thing is that I am learning those skills in my journalism program. I also need to make sure the content I post on a certain social media network is best suitable for that platform. I notice there is one item requiring that I need to assist in optimizing the shopper experience across North Park’s social platforms. That is the skill I even do not have any understanding of so I need to dig more into that point.

(4) Social Media Manager

  1. “Generating continuously content for the company (blog, editorial, community-outreach efforts, social pages…), create new ideas and campaigns, and measure how effective those ideas are. “
  2. “Work with the Product development team to ensure social media tools are kept up to date.”
  3. “Monitor effective benchmarks for measuring the impact of social media programs, brand reputation, and analyze, review, and report on effectiveness of campaigns in an effort to maximize results.”

The interesting thing about this position is that this job does not only require that I need to know how to use social media platforms to promote the ideas of a certain company but I also have to be able to evaluate the effect of the communication effort. The latter is the skill I totally lack but it is really important. I have to make sure I do not only communicate, but communicate in a way which will maximize the profit.