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Getting your release out on time and to the right person is just as important as writing it.

In general, you will be safe if your release arrives to the media:

– Two weeks in advance for events the public is invited to attend, such as seminars, charity auctions, concerts, speeches, etc.

– One week in advance for other news items

Be sure that your news release is sent to the right place within a newspaper, whether it’s a department editor, a columnist or reporter. A quick call to the paper for correct names and spellings is worth your time. If you’ve worked with a reporter before, it may be prudent to send them the release. For smaller papers, particularly weeklies, “Editor” is probably the only address you’ll need.

Emailing your release is just as effective as mailing one these days, and it will save you time and expense.

To email a release, copy and paste the release into the body of the email. Don’t use an attachment. Because of viruses, a lot of newspapers and media outlets don’t accept attachments. If you email, you may want to add a brief sentence or two summarizing the release and why readers would be interested.

If the story is of widespread interest, off beat or has an interesting human interest angle, don’t overlook the television and radio journalists. If you don’t have the time to figure out who to send it to, address television releases to the “Assignment Editor” and radio releases to the “News Director”. Again, emailing is an effective way to get the word out fast. Go to the station’s website to find out the proper email address.

If it’s a meeting, seminar, workshop or other public event, don’t forget the newspaper’s community calendar. Address an extra release to the “Community Calendar Editor”.