What editors want

How to increase the chances of getting your press release published

Do good and talk about it, because rattling is part of the craft. These two wisdoms convey the same message. It's not enough to invent or do something great, you have to make it public. That's what there is Public Relations. One form of public relations is the press release. This post takes you on the way to the perfect press release. It shows the individual steps from Write a press release up to sending. 


I know both sides very well: On the one hand, as a journalist and editor, I have been receiving press releases for various companies for almost 30 years Trade journals. On the other hand, since 2010 I have occasionally been creating such messages for companies myself and sending them to trade press. So I know firsthand what we editors want from the press departments.

According to the orientation of my many years of experience and our portal www.developmentscout.com my remarks are aimed at writing the perfect press release for the industrial trade press. However, most of the tips, recommendations and hints are as well general apply.

Introduction to the world of press work

What is a press release, what is a press text for?

Press releases serve to inform potential or existing customers, media representatives and investors about important events and developments within a company. A press release should always be written concisely and easily understandable to the reader the essentials to the point bring to. It is important that the information is relevant and interesting in order to attract the attention of media representatives and readers. In addition, a well-written press release can improve a company's online visibility and help it rank higher in search results. Press release writing requires certain skills and also experience to ensure that the information is conveyed clearly and concisely.

"What does a press release look like?" Young companies in particular, start-ups or the self-employed who have never done anything like this ask themselves. We want to prevent you from starting wrong and put you on the right track to writing the perfect press release with valuable tips. 

Everything about the perfect press release in a nutshell

Write a press releaseMost of the mistakes that arise when writing, designing and sending press releases have one additional work for the journalist. If you avoid them, your chances of your PR submission getting noticed increases enormously. 

If you write and organize the perfect press release, you will have a much easier time getting it published. But first you need to know what journalists and editors want. If the press release, also called press release, press release or PR, arrives at the editorial office, the editor or journalist knows immediately what it is about. The press text matches the topics of the editors and the subject of his own press release announced in the subject line. It contains every important piece of information and hardly ever needs to be edited – in other words: the perfect press release requires as little work as possible. 

There are many PR agencies that offer press release writing. If you need professional support with creating a press release and have the opportunity, ask an editor you know which of the agencies he or she would recommend to you. Because among PR agencies, we like some and dislike others. Once you have found an agency, you can have a professional press release written and sent.

Ten worst mistakes in a press release

The following facts, identified as the worst mistakes in your press work, are of course of a purely subjective nature. But they all have one thing in common: If you avoid them, journalists and editors have less work with your message. So regardless of the order, my ranking looks like this:

10th place: follow up

Journalists receive umpteen press releases a day, let's say 50: That makes 1000 in a month and 6 entries in 6000 months. So if you contact us by email or phone with: I wanted to ask whether you have received our press release, we probably often cannot give you a precise answer and most of us will probably not look for it either.

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Place 9: contact details are missing

In particular, press releases from agencies sometimes have no contact details (email address or phone number) to the customer. A professional consultation is then not possible except via the agency and could cause delays. In addition, the person responsible in the company does not receive a specimen copy.

8th place: advertising texts instead of facts

Advertising texts with superlatives and 'marketing talk' must be rewritten accordingly. If the technical content is missing and the journalists or editors are under time pressure, they will not decide on your press release.

7th place: subject and cover letter

If the subject or the email itself does not contain anything about the content of the press release, the editor must first open the files to get an overview. If they are then to be downloaded separately, he may postpone it until later or delete it.

6th place: Bad or no pictures

If your images are too low in resolution, your press release may become unusable without having to follow up. In some press releases you should also request the images if you are interested. Many will not do that. Unfortunately there is often a delete again.

5th place: PDF and other formatting

There is certainly a solution for everything, but journalists do not always know. Sometimes they struggle with the formatting of PDF formats or they despair of well-laid out Word documents.

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4th place: inflated text

The number of characters in a publication is a rare commodity, particularly in the print sector. Inflated texts with content that are paraphrased several times, are repeated or summarized again, only make unnecessary work to shorten everything again.

3rd place: Repetitions of press releases

Let's get back to the monthly 1000 submissions: It can happen that we do not immediately identify a repeatedly sent press release. If we then select the same product again for publication, the annoyance is inevitable: At some point during the processing, something seems familiar to us, so we do research. We then find out that the message has been sent repeatedly acts, the effort was in vain up to then and that is very annoying.

2nd place: No novelty

The so-called old camels have an existential meaning in the specialist press with regard to reader loyalty. No editor wants to have written about something that has already existed and will always give preference to novelty.

1st place: Bad press distribution list

An inaccurate, poor or out-of-date press distribution list misses many chances of publication, because the press release does not even reach the entire media landscape - clearly our first place.

Ten best tips for the press release


If you follow the tips below, you can use the Journalists' attention for the publication of your press release.

Place 10: Download option

Pay attention to the size of the attachment when sending your press release. Create a download option for attachments larger than 5 megabytes. The editor should be able to access the data with one click. Particularly when sending specialist articles or user reports, the image files sometimes exceed the permitted incoming e-mail size, are rejected by the recipient or are annoying to them.

9th place: links and social media

Add relevant links from your company, product, configurator or similar offers on your company website. Include your social media channels as well. Many journalists, especially online journalists, will thank you because they no longer have to do their own research.

8th place: printable images

Make sure you use professional quality artwork with printable features. It is not quite the case in trade magazines that pictures say more than a thousand words, but a good picture appeals to us in particular and can become a selection criterion. Don't forget the caption.

Place 7: unformatted text

Don't fool yourself into creating your text files. They shouldn't be printed. The more unformatted your text, the easier it is for editors to process it further. By the way, PDF files are the source of most of the trouble.

6th place: correct timeline

The right timeline is particularly important for the many trade fair special issues. The editorial deadline for the print media is around two months before the start of the trade fair, so you are on the safe side with a mailing no later than ten weeks, or preferably three months in advance.

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5th place: Getting to the heart of the content

Write your press release short and sweet and get the information right to the point. Avoid using phrases that are frequently used and that can be applied to many products and technologies.

4th place: Ensure specialist knowledge

If you do not have the specialist knowledge yourself, you can get it from a specialist in your company or from your client as an agency. In recent years, the technical quality of press releases has unfortunately decreased on average.

3rd place: Current information

Only write a press release if you have something to say. It doesn't always have to be a world first that you write about. Further developments, additional sizes or new applications are also of interest. 

2nd place: content at first glance

Let the editor know what it is about in the subject of your email. Then explain the topic in more detail in the cover letter using a few sentences.

1st place: Relevant press distribution list for the target group

Take the trouble to sift through the incredible German specialist media landscape and choose relevant editorial offices with your direct contact person for your broadcast and create an up-to-date, staff-oriented one Press distributor. No matter how good your press release is, if it doesn't get through, it can't be published.

Writing a press release for a product presentation

Have you developed a new product, system, machine, world first, device or technology? No matter what you call it or what it is that Öffentlichkeit should know, because rattling is part of the craft. But how does your target audience aware of this? The solution is to write a good press release. The press release for the presentation of new or optimized or further developed products, systems, assemblies, etc. is called in the trade press product Reviews. Print media often only have a very limited space available for this.

But sometimes editors are also looking for an interesting topic, on which you can build up to an entire specialist article with your own research. In the case of an online publication, the user must be drawn under the spell immediately, otherwise he will switch to the next search result. If you adhere to all of these aspects when writing a press release, you can optimize a press release by creating three versions: a short version, a long version and an online version.

Short version of the press release

The short version is a must and can also be sent without the online version or long version. As you write, first check the relevance of your possible answers to the W questionsWho visites effect What when where and How why and What for redeveloped at all? Then write the short version of the press release with the following content and max. 1000 characters:

  • Benefits that the new product brings
  • function Description
  • most important key figures
  • Features
  • typical uses in the enumeration

Long version and online version of the press release

When Your novelty has a lot of features or if there is an interesting background and you may have already implemented the first applications, it is worth writing a long version as well. As already mentioned, editors like to build on that. They may call or write to you to ask for additional information. Maybe you're conducting an interview or getting a statement from one of your executives. This is how specialist journalists turn your product report into an exclusive publication.

However, do not necessarily send a long version without having written a short version. The greater attention for the journalists for print media is on the short version. Then you miss the chances of publishing the relatively small product report. Or the long version also falls under the category of inflated product reports. The long press release can have around 3000 additional characters for the short version. The following content is available as a supplement:

  • Why was the new product developed
  • State of the art
  • Market requirement
  • More detailed metrics
  • Compared to competitive products
  • Applications or success stories already implemented in the list or
  • An already implemented application over a paragraph.

The detailed product report ends where the specialist article begins. So, consider whether your content to be announced offers more than just a product introduction. With the online version, you can increasingly score extra points. Because your text must speak a clear SEO-friendly language on the Internet. This has now become a science in itself and should be treated separately.

Writing a press release for a company announcement

Would you like your economic development Make known, has there been a change in your company, are you planning an event or have you received a coveted award? This and all other information about your company should be included in a corresponding report and should be part of your press work.  

The company report is actually not that different from a product report. You announce something new to the public, only this time it's about your company and not your portfolio. For such News For example, company publications or career topics, print media in the trade press usually have even less space than is the case with product reports. This information is more of a peripheral nature in the specialist press. Therefore, there is not much to say here other than to first write down your answers to the relevant W-questions.

Who visites effect What when where and How why and What for done at all? You only have to answer the W-questions for which you also have an answer. Sometimes a W-question is irrelevant. Then leave them out. Keep it as short as possible for the print media. For online media, you should be able to go into more detail. 

Most important tips for the design of the text when writing a press release

  • Think of yourself a captivating one Heading out. The headline should bring the content to the point and arouse curiosity.
  • Write for your target audience.
  • Take care of one Structure of the text.
  • Make a Between heading, with longer text subheadings.
  • Take advantage of the Heel.
  • Avoid so-called nesting of your Sätze.
  • Use no superlatives.
  • Limit yourself to the essentials.
  • You write factual.

Create a targeted press distribution list

For the Broadcast Your press release you need a qualified press mailing list. It's actually very easy to create, even if it will take you some time. Research the addressees through to the respective contact person. You can do this as follows:

  • target audience define
  • The relevant ones can be found at www.fachzeitungen.de Journals detect
  • Media-Kit. search on the publisher's or magazine's website
  • Name and email address of the Editors find in it
  • Done!

How you proceed then depends entirely on your organization.


Author information
Angela Struck

Angela Struck is editor-in-chief of the development scout and freelance journalist as well as managing director of Presse Service Büro GbR in Ried.