10 Tips To Get Your Press Release Picked Up

The Central West Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (CWC-FPRA) hosted its annual Media Breakfast on November 15, 8 – 11 a.m., at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and Dillon Buckland, the Communications Coordinator for The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, was in attendance to get tips and tricks for our members from the source itself.

media breakfast

The program began with a panel discussion featuring area broadcast media representatives, who discussed the ways local news outlets are reinventing themselves across multiple platforms, from traditional TV shows to social content, live streaming, and digital-only channels. Following the panel discussion, a series of rotating roundtables gave attendees the opportunity to speak with 8-10 media representatives from a variety of media formats, who offered their expertise and advice for story pitching and developing authentic relationships with the media.

Here’s a quick list of 10 tips to get your press release picked up by our local media:

  1. Develop a working relationship with your press contact.This way you can follow up easier and you already have a relationship so your story may be more likely to be picked up.
  2. Make your introduction emails with the press release personal to your press contact“I really enjoyed ____ story you did.” or “____ is why this is important to be shared with the community.”
  3. Put your “News Hat” on!if you were a reporter, would you find this to be news-worthy? Some things don’t need a press release and can be pushed out on social media.
  4. Do some research on the media outlets and compare what is written about with similar companies.
  5. Subject Lines should be straight-forward and direct.
  6. Your “Who, What, Where…” should be brief.Some media outlets get HUNDREDS of press releases a day so your press release shouldn’t go past a page. Chances are that no one is reading past the first or second paragraph.
  7. Your news can get picked up off social media, too! – Most rely on sending press releases as the only way to get news out but reporters and media look for stories off of social media.
  8. Follow-up phone calls work BUT use sparingly. – If you call on every one of your press releases, you may tarnish your relationship with that media contact.
  9. Media outlets like stories of a local business doing something regional or national.
  10. Include Photos & Videos!These can be a huge asset to getting your story picked up! High-Resolution Photos are a requirement. Videos are preferred landscape and only need to be 30 seconds. (Please note: If utilizing our press release tool, please include [Photos/Video available on request at youremail@email.com]).

This year’s media representatives included:

  • Brian Ries – Herald-Tribune, Digital Editor
  • Lisa O’Driscoll – funmoneymom.com, Blogger
  • Joey Panek – ABC7, Suncoast View Senior Producer
  • Jacob Ogles – SRQ Magazine, Senior Editor
  • Jacqueline Matter – ABC7, Anchor
  • Kat Hughes – Observer Media Group, Executive Editor
  • Richard Dymond – Bradenton Herald, Education Reporter
  • Megan McDonald – Sarasota Magazine, Digital Editor
  • Joey West – Bay News 9, Assignment Editor
  • Marcel Bauduin – WSRQ Radio, Programming Coordinator


If you have questions on crafting or sending press releases, please contact Dillon Buckland at dbuckland@sarasotachamber.com or (941) 556-4039.


Member Tip: Press Release Tool

As a benefit to our members, this tool provides easy distribution of press releases to current media contacts in the greater Sarasota area. Our press release tool is a great stepping stone for you to make connections with our local media. Plus, non-date specific press releases submitted are considered for future Chamber communications. Before starting please check our best practices.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Login at SarasotaChamber.com with your member credentials.
  2. Click Press Release Tool on the right-hand side of your screen under Quick Links.
  3. Fill out the form and submit!


Other Tips

Tracking Your Press Release

The simplest way to track your coverage is to use Google Alerts. To set up a Google alert, visit www.google.com/alerts and create an alert for each keyword you are interested in receiving a notification about. If you are entering phrases with multiple words, be sure to place quotation marks at the beginning and ending of the phrase. This will ensure that you receive notifications when something is published online with the entire phrase, rather than every individual word within the phrase.

Media Directory

Visit the Florida Public Relations Association – Central West Coast Chapter website for more details on how to purchase a complete Media Directory for the Sarasota-Manatee region.

PLEASE NOTE: The Sarasota Chamber is not responsible for what our local media picks up or doesn’t pick up. However, we do know they like good news, like new hires, ribbon cuttings, grand openings, etc. 

If you have any questions about using the Press Release Tool or submitting, please contact Dillon Buckland, Communications Coordinator at dbuckland@sarasotachamber.com or (941) 556-4039.