What is a Press Release? What Can It Do?
By definition, a press release informs the media and the public about something newsworthy. Though it often comes from private businesses or PR agencies, distributed to various o...
Let’s say you have a press release and you want to distribute it to a much wider audience. What better way than to send it off to Google News, right? If only it were that simple.
While there’s arguably no bigger audience than Google’s, you can’t actually submit a press release to Google News—not directly, at least.
Fortunately, there are alternatives. To get a press release on Google News, you need to first have that press release published somewhere else first, ideally on the website of a reputable media organization trusted by or partnered with Google.
So, read on to discover exactly how this process works as we go into fine-point detail on each of its most important parts, including:
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Before we start, it’s important to clarify that Google News is not a news platform, per se. Rather, it collates news from other sources all over the web.
What largely determines the news items that appear on Google News are algorithms. Google itself says its algorithms use hundreds of factors to identify and elevate trustworthy news, and news is hardly ever personally selected or curated by the editorial team.
So, what that means is, when writing a press release—an announcement that is considered “newsworthy” by Google News—you have to write for the algorithms.
The types of press releases that would be considered newsworthy by Google News might be:
However, plenty of announcements aren’t considered newsworthy by Google News, such as:
First off, when writing any press release, it’s essential to be objective and concise. That means it should be written in third person and shouldn’t include any superfluous language, or descriptors such as “astounding” or “revolutionary.” It should read like news, not a sales pitch.
Remember that reporters expect you to follow a standard press release format, structured roughly like a news article. The most important information always comes first, and all other information follows in order of importance. A press release generally abides by the below framework:
If your press release doesn’t follow this standard one-page format, it’s unlikely that it will get published anywhere, let alone on Google News.
As mentioned, you’ll be taking a bit of an indirect approach to get your press release published on Google News, keeping in mind that you’ve written your press release for its algorithm.
Since there isn’t a way to directly submit a press release to Google News, Google News must find your press release elsewhere on the Internet to then choose it and display it.
What that means is, your best option is to submit your press release to a press release wire service, particularly one that has a syndication agreement with Google. Although wire services frequently cost an upfront fee, Google News relies on aggregating from other sources and has numerous contractual agreements with press wires and news outlets.
So, if you can submit your press release to a distribution service syndicated with Google News, it will effectively result in getting your press release indexed on the site.
Interested in finding out more about press release distribution, check out our other guides:
AP news press release submission
New York Times press release submission
Reuters press release submission
Yahoo News press release submission
When you email a press release to a news outlet unprompted, and without reference, this is known as “cold pitching.” It will often result in no reply and, thus, no media coverage.
Major networks often receive hundreds to even thousands of cold pitches a day, so you can understand why they might be unlikely to even read your release.
While this can be disheartening, it’s also normal. For any top-tier news outlet to be interested in a press announcement, it has to be coming from a high-profile source.
However, if a reporter is in fact interested in your press announcement, they’ll usually reply to your email promptly and ask for more information.
If you used a wire service, on the other hand, that platform will provide a report of outlets your press release was syndicated to, and you’ll receive a list of everywhere the press release was published.
If the service was syndicated with Google News, your press release will appear on the index.
For an example, check out how the below press release that was published on a third-party publication (Yahoo! in this case) appears on Google News.
As you can see here, Yahoo initially published the press release, and then Google News linked to the announcement via Yahoo.
To reiterate: cold pitching press releases to top-tier publications rarely results in success.
What’s more effective is identifying smaller media outlets that report on your industry or in your region. If you pitch outlets with an interest in your field, or ones that receive a smaller volume of pitches daily, you have a greater chance of getting your press release published.
Also, remember that press releases are a small fraction of a great PR strategy. There are other ways to get media coverage, including pitching guest articles or op-eds to publications, offering to be a source on a piece in the works, or piggybacking on existing news coverage.
It’s also worth mentioning, artificial intelligence (AI) is also useful in generating media coverage.
When wielded by agencies, AI can analyze current media contact lists to recommend more relevant ones, thereby expanding databases. The more contacts an agency has, the higher the likelihood of a byline, guest article, or other form of PR being picked up for publication.
AI can also analyze current news cycles in order to recommend trending topics to pitch more likely to generate interest on a given day.
In fact, at Intelligent Relations, our AI pitch writing and journalist matching engine recommends the most appropriate journalist to contact, and with what subject, for any given client.
So if you want to guarantee smart media coverage, AI-driven, we’re here to help. This, too, can one day land your press release on Google News.