How To Write A Press Release Email [2019 Update]

7 Comments Last updated on September 23, 2019 By Dmitry Dragilev PR outreach, PR strategy

Your press release is finally done.

You spent hours trying to make it perfect.

And now it’s ready.

But your work isn’t finished!

You now have the tough task of sending press releases to journalists.

In this article, I’ll help you craft the perfect pitch email for your press release. I’ll also give you a few helpful email templates to give you a head start.

Before I start, I’m assuming you have your press release and your list of media contacts ready.

You can’t send a press release email without a press release and media contacts to send it to, right?

If you don’t have it, check out my “How To Write A Press Release” article and my “Journalist Outreach” article. They have everything you need to craft a great press release and find the right media contacts.

Once you’ve done that, you can start writing your email.

How To Write A Press Release Email

Here’s an example press release email:

Subject line- USS Enterprise or Starship Galactica: Which is the fastest spaceship?

Hi Dmitry,

If you are planning to travel from Earth to Alpha Centauri, it would be faster to take the Galactica rather than USS Enterprise.
That’s what our infographic on ‘Fastest Fictional Travel’ reveals.

We have used a logarithmic scale to compare the time it would take a superhero or fictional starships to travel real distances.
Since you write regularly on hi-tech innovations and sci-fi, I knew you would be intrigued by our findings.
The press release with the infographic is copied below.

Please let me know if you have any queries and I’ll get back to you immediately.

Thanks,
Henry Cavill
666-888-999
[email protected]

Note: This press release email example is taken from an actual infographic made by TravelMath.com

TravelMath operates in the travel vertical.

The company wanted to create content that was related to travel but appealed to a broader audience – so that they could target high authority media sites.

For this campaign, TravelMath along with Fractl created an infographic that compared relative speeds of superheroes and starships when undertaking interplanetary travel.

The goal was to appeal to pop culture and sci-fi fans while remaining relevant to the industry of travel. This campaign helped them secure coverage in big sites like Yahoo! News, Space.com, and Fast Company.

The press release email above is a fictional example email that Travelmath may have sent to journalists to pitch the infographic.

Now let’s break down each part of this press release email.

This will give you a better idea of why they’re important and how to tackle each part.

1. Subject Line

Your subject line is the most important part of your press release email.

I cannot overstate this.

A journalist will open your email based on your subject line.

Ace this and you have a shot at getting good media coverage. Mess it up and your email goes straight to their trash folder. It’s email marketing 101.

The problem with press release subject lines is that they’re hard to master.

Why?

Because most press releases don’t have very catchy headlines.

Using your press release headline as your email subject makes sense, but won’t get you very far.

Think about it –

No journalist is going to open an email with the headline – “Press Release: Brand X Partners With Brand Y To Release New App To Help Customers Book Movie Tickets.

Here’s why this headline doesn’t work –

  1. All a journalist will see is Brand X and Brand Y and move on. They don’t care about either of those companies. It’s not relevant to them, their editors or their readers.
  2. It’s not concise. Loads of journalists access emails on their phones. They won’t bother opening an email just to read its headline.

When writing email subject lines, you want to get to the crux of your press release. You want to say something that entices the journalist. In this case, you want the app to take center stage.

Writing a line like – “New App Promises To Make Movie Bookings Easier Than Ever” is a smarter choice.

Here’s why –

  1. It’s more interesting. The journalist will want to know how it makes bookings easier
  2. It’s concise. You got the message across in twelve words!
  3. It’s more relevant to them, their editors and their readers (assuming you are reaching out to the journalist with the correct beat.) Besides, everyone loves movies! We’d all love an easier booking process.

Here are some good press release email subject lines:

  1. Press Release: World’s First Sustainable Food Event Showcases The Future Of Food
  2. PR: Why AI-Powered Finance Will Shake Up The Market
  3. USS Enterprise or Starship Galactica: Which is the fastest spaceship?
    (From our example email above. For any journalist covering sci-fi or tech industry, this is a catchy headline, sure to incite curiosity)

2. Greeting

Email greeting is an overlooked part of email marketing.

It’s usually just one word, right? Why would it be a big deal?

It is a big deal.

Because it sets the tone for the rest of your document.

Don’t use overly-familiar greetings if you’ve never interacted with the journalist before. A simple “Hi (name)” is a good professional option.

The “(name)” part is important. Including a recipient’s name can improve open rates by 20%!

It shows the journalist that you’ve crafted this email for them. This isn’t a copy-paste job that you’ve mass-produced.

For example, in the email above, I used “Hi Dmitry”.

3. Introduction

Your introduction will either make a journalist –

  1. Regret giving you any attention and opening your email.
  2. Be more interested in who you are and what you’re offering.

The key to making sure they go for option two is by standing out in your industry. Journalists receive loads of pitches every day.

What makes your business stand out?

While you’d like to think your business or event is special, chances are there are loads of people in the industry trying to send the same thing.

So how do you get a journalist’s attention?

By making a connection with them.

Reference something they’ve published recently that got social media coverage. Compliment them about their work. Show them that you appreciate what they do. Tell them why your business chose them as an audience.

Or, like in our example email above – say something that makes the journalist sit up and take notice.

Here’s our introduction from the example email above:

If you are planning to travel from Earth to Alpha Centauri, it would be faster to take the Galactica rather than USS Enterprise.
That’s what our infographic on ‘Fastest Fictional Travel’ reveals.

Any journalist who covers sci-fi or hi-tech innovations is bound to be excited about reading this email.

Here’s another example of a good introduction:

I’ve been following your articles for a while and loved your recent piece on <<insert article headline>>.
It was a well-researched piece.

The journalist will see this and –

  1. Feel appreciated; which bodes well for your pitch as they’re in a more receptive state of mind.
  2. Know that you’re genuine. You’re not someone forwarding hundreds of emails every day. You crafted this email personally.

Do this, and you’ll have no trouble getting their attention!

4. Email Body

If you’ve managed to retain a journalist’s attention this far, then congratulations!

Most pitches don’t make it to this stage.

Remember, your email is about your press release. You want to keep all other text to a minimum.

The goal of your body is to connect your press release with what you mentioned in your introduction.

Let’s say your press release is about a sustainable food event and you’ve found a journalist who writes about vegan food.

It’s up to your email body to make the connection and show your audience (the journalists in this case) why this food event is a relevant topic for them.

That’s it. All it takes is a concise sentence or two.

Here’s the body copy (from our example email above):

We have used a logarithmic scale to compare the time it would take a superhero or fictional starships to travel real distances.
Since you write regularly on hi-tech innovations and sci-fi, I knew you would be intrigued by our findings.
The press release with the infographic is copied below.

5. Closing

Keep your closing simple and professional.

Just remember to share your contact details as you would after a press release’s boilerplate copy. It’s a way for them to connect with you for additional details. Maybe they want a quote on something, maybe their editors need some clarification.

If you haven’t provided them with your contact details, they can’t get in touch and may not proceed with your press release!

Here’s the closing from our example email above-

Please let me know if you have any queries and I’ll get back to you immediately.

Thanks,
Henry Cavill
666-888-999
[email protected]

You could also say:

Hope this information is relevant. If you have any more queries, shoot me a mail and I’ll get back to you immediately.

Add your contact details in the end.

6. Paste Your Press Release

Once you’re done with your email text, you can paste your press release document.

That’s it!

Here’s another press release email example when you incorporate all the steps we just discussed above:

Email Subject – Got a good story for your article about Entrepreneurship

Hey Dmitry,
Saw that you’re writing content about entrepreneurship from your social media posts.
I’ve got a good one for you. I actually slept in my car while I ran around trying to launch my content service to small business owners.
My gamble (and slightly less frequent showers!) paid off. I secured a $100K lifeline, giving my company enough runway to launch.
Hope you can use these few solid insights about how to decide if a big sacrifice like this is worth it. I’ve added the content it in its entirety below.

Let me know if you need any more information.

Thanks,
XYZ
[email protected]
+1-000-000-0000
Founder @ xyzentrepreneurship.com
Twitter – @xyzentreprenurship
<pasted press release>

Post-Email Etiquette

You’ve sent your press release email. Now all you have to do is wait for a response.

Remember, most journalists and media outlets are incredibly busy. Think of them as social media influencers – they receive tons of messages every day. You’re going to have to wait a while before they respond!

In case they haven’t responded after three days, send them a short follow up.

Remember – journalists and influencers don’t have to read your email. Just reference the earlier email and ask them if you can provide anything else.

If you still get no response, then that’s probably it.

The journalist has passed on your press release and it isn’t working out.

Here’s another recommendation.

Avoid sending more than one follow-up. It’s not professional and will annoy all the journalists and influencers you’ve pitched to.

5 Mantras For Press Release Email Success

1. No Attachments

There’s a reason I told you to paste your press release in the email instead of attaching it as a Dropbox link. Journalists don’t want to open an additional resource to get the information they want.

Your job is to make things as easy as possible for them. Think of it like the customer service industry – you want to eliminate any unnecessary steps.

Also, downloading a document can be risky. Especially if it’s from someone you don’t know. No journalist is going to risk downloading a virus to get a news story.

2. Avoid Mass Emails

Companies who want to share emails to everyone in their media list at once, use press release distribution services.

But this shows journalists that you’re mass emailing them and don’t really care where you get a mention. You’re just hoping someone in your media list runs with your story.

Why would a journalist care about your story if you’ve sent it to tons of other people in your media list?

It’s no longer exclusive information!

This is a surefire way to get yourself added to spam lists.

Instead, spend time in personalizing your emails as I explained earlier. By referencing their work, you prove to them that you are actually interested in him or her. You are no longer a mass emailer.

It’s the first thing they teach you about email marketing!

3. Brevity

Even the crispest press release will look huge in an email.

Keep all other text to a minimum. Your press release is the star of the show – keep it that way.

Don’t ramble in your introduction or your body. Get straight to the point.

Let the journalist know:

  1. Why you’re emailing them
  2. How this benefits them
  3. How they can contact you if they need more information

That’s all you need to answer.

Everything else is fluff that needs to be cut.

4. Spellcheck

No journalist will take an email ridden with spelling errors seriously.

It’s callous and shows them that you don’t really care about your press release.

Do what bloggers do and go over your press release email thrice. Read it and re-read it until you know it word-for-word!

Remember, all it takes is a couple of spelling errors to lose a journalist. A five-minute spell-check before you share a pitch could do wonders for your success rate.

5. Keep The Relationship Going

Most people believe that their job is done once their press release is accepted.

They’re wrong.

You now have an opportunity to build a long-term relationship with this journalist. I’ll use the customer service analogy again. You need to bend over backward to try and help them now. Be it a quote, clarifications, additions – make it as easy on the customer as possible!

By doing this, the journalist is going to view you as a helpful source. You’re going to be someone they like to work with.

So the next time they need some insights or a quote, guess who they’ll reach out to?

The person who helped them with whatever they needed!

You’ve now got an outlet for regular press coverage – you’re living every PR agent’s dream!

How To Use Press Release Email Templates

The key to any successful press release email is personalization. If you send out generic emails that look like a copy-paste job, no publication will take you on.

But, you can’t afford to create a new press email from scratch for each publication either. It’s going to take far too much time and effort to gain simple media coverage.

So how do you balance the two?

By creatively using press release email templates.

You want the template to serve as a rough base that can be peppered with personalized touches.

Add the journalist’s name, reference their earlier work and it would seem as if you crafted this email solely for them.

Conclusion

Getting media coverage by emailing a press release isn’t an easy task.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

With the right template and personalization, you can send tons of great press release emails that are bound to get you mentions on top media outlets.

Here are some email templates for press release examples that you can use as a guideline to get press mentions.

Press Release Email Templates

Template 1

Email Subject – Press Release: <name of press release>

Hi <name of journalist>,

Been following your articles on < news outlets > for a while and loved your recent piece on <subject> in <media outlet name>.
I thought you might find this piece on <related subject> interesting.

Do let me know if this is of any help.
If you need any more information please drop a line and I’ll get back immediately.

Many thanks,
<your name>
<your contact details>

<paste press release>

Template 2

Email Subject – Press Release: How our product plans to replace food

Hey <name of journalist>,

I’ve been following your articles on < news outlets > for a while – very cutting cultural analyses. Loved your recent one in < publication name > about eating insects as a substitute for meat protein – think all it needs is an image makeover to overcome the ick factor.

Wanted to introduce you to another food substitute we are launching – in the form of a nutritional drink.
Thought you might find this content interesting.

Do let me know if you want any more information and I’ll be happy to help!

Thanks,

<your name>
<your contact details>

<paste press release>

Template 3

Email Subject – <name of press release>

Hi <name of journalist>,

I recently caught your news show on < media outlet > and was intrigued by your opinions on <topic>.
Since this is a subject that you’re currently working with, I thought that this press release on <topic> might be to your interest.

Let me know if you need any clarifications or additional updates and I’d be happy to help.

Thanks,
<your name>
<your contact details>

<paste press release>

Template 4

Email Subject – New <innovation/product/service> in <topic>

Hi <name of journalist>,

I’ve been a big fan of your articles on < news outlets >. What really strikes me is your detailed research on every aspect of <topic>.
As <topic> is something that interests you, though you might want to know that my company recently developed a new <innovation/product/service> in this area.
The official launch of our <innovation/product/service> is scheduled for next week.

Let me know if you’d like any more content on this.

Many thanks,
<your name>
<your contact details>

<paste press release>

Enjoyed the article? I have more, just for you!
Written by Dmitry Dragilev

I'm the founder of JustReachOut.io which helps 4,000+ small businesses and entrepreneurs pitch press and get exposure daily without any help of PR firms. See more here.

7 thoughts on this article
  1. Rebecca  Reply

    Never realized how important an email greeting was! Definitely going to name-drop whenever I can from now on.

  2. Alex Juany  Reply

    I’ve always known that your introduction could make or break your emails, but I never found a resource that helped me ace it. Until now. Thanks for this – referencing a journalist’s earlier work is something I can do with virtually every email I send!

    • Tony B  Reply

      Hey Alex, I have been doing this for a while and It really works.

  3. Daniel  Reply

    I know my press release is supposed to do the work – and you advise that I keep the rest of my text to a minimum. But what if I have to explain certain things and preface a press release with a few extra lines? How much is too much in that scenario?

  4. Lewis  Reply

    I’ve read so many different takes on press release emails – especially about the press release itself. But the points you made make sense – it’s far smarter just pasting my press release than adding it as an attachment. Thanks!

    • Ryan D  Reply

      Attachments usually send an email to the spam folder, so pasting a press release makes sense.

  5. Heather Kendric  Reply

    “Keep the relationship going”
    That’s such an underrated part of the press emailing process! Glad you mentioned it. Building a relationship with a journalist is the biggest PR hack you can leverage. Once they like you – they’ll overlook any of the other deficiencies in your email.

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