What’s the difference between a media pitch and a press release?

When you have news to announce about your brand, you’re likely wanting to share it with the media as well.

It could be a product launch, company announcement, upcoming event or something else. But regardless of what the news is, you should consider getting your information out in a way that resonates with journalists and reaches your intended audience.

In a recent survey, about 61 percent of journalists either agree or strongly agree with the following statement: “The way most companies share information with the media is outdated.”

Consider sending a press release, a media pitch or both, but what’s the difference, and what’s the best way to not be “outdated” in the eyes of journalists? 

Press release versus media pitch

No matter what, the ultimate goal is that the media covers your story. So, knowing when to use a press release and when to use a media pitch is critical to achieving that goal.

Press releases

In the simplest sense, a press release is a news story written by a public relations professional and sent to targeted members of the media. Typical elements include:

  • Headline
  • Subheadline
  • Dateline
  • Lead sentence with the most important information up front
  • Body text that expands on the news
  • Quotes from representatives of your brand or other relevant individuals
  • Company boilerplate
  • Contact information

A press release typically consists of one to two pages and includes all of the “five Ws,” which are the who, what, when, where and why of your news. It should be easy enough for a journalist to repurpose into a news story, where he or she can reach out with any follow-up questions.

Press releases can be more broadly written as they’re sent to multiple journalists directly and/or through a PR wire service.

Media pitches

On the other hand, a media pitch is the personalized outreach that you send to journalists in hopes of compelling them to cover your story. This typically is done in the form of a short, concise email. About 91 percent of journalists prefer that media pitches are 200 words or less. It can include an attachment of the press release with it, though, if it makes sense to do so. Traditional media pitch elements include:

  • Compelling subject line
  • Personalized greeting to the journalist
  • About two to four sentences explaining the story idea
  • Call to action, which is what you are hoping the journalist will do

About 94 percent of journalists prefer media pitches over press releases. This is because pitches are personalized and show that you understand what a particular journalist covers and why he or she might be interested in covering your news. You want to make sure you convey how this story idea is relevant for the journalist’s audience.

Of course, media pitches (just like press releases) are your first impression on a journalist. They can make or break your chances of getting media coverage. 

But a press release aims to communicate exactly what happened or will be happening, while a media pitch explains why a story angle or event is newsworthy and deserves coverage from a particular journalist. 

When to use a press release

There will be times when it is best to send out a press release, such as when:

  • Your news requires more explanation and detail than you can fit into 200 words.
  • You have important news to share with a large number of journalists.
  • You prefer to have a formal piece of writing that can be added to your website or elsewhere.
  • A journalist requests more information after responding positively to a media pitch.

When to use a media pitch

There also are times when it is best to send a media pitch, such as when you have a story idea intended for a specific journalist, where you can clearly explain why the pitch is for that journalist and his or her audience. 

It’s all about personalization and specificity. Journalists definitely appreciate that.

In conclusion

When deciding between sending a press release or a media pitch, remember their purpose and your ultimate media goal. Of course, as mentioned before, the two can work together, where a media pitch directs to a press release with more information.

Make sure that regardless of what you’re sending, you are:

  • Reaching out to the right journalists.
  • Using email to distribute your pitch or release
  • Always using a compelling subject line
  • Being concise (even in press releases)

While you’re evaluating your best opportunities for media pitches and press releases, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

6 of the best free press release services

Press releases can help your brand generate media coverage, which can help you reach your target audience that much more.

Because there’s no guarantee that your press release will result in coverage, the more journalists you can reach, the better your chances.

About 48 percent of journalists receive up to five pitches a day, while 43 percent receive more than that

While about 78 percent of journalists say that they want press releases from brands, only a handful of the pitches journalists receive are successful.

Check out our eight tips to write a press release that won’t get ignored.

Press release distribution services are a great place to enhance your reach. However, if you’re on a limited budget, the cost of some of these services might be out of reach.

The following are six of the best free press release services you should consider trying to get your message out.


PRLog distributes press releases to a wide range of media outlets. This free service includes instant approval, but there is a limit of two press releases per day.


This user-friendly platform offers a range of distribution plans and features. 1888PressRelease.com also offers writing services. Keep in mind that the free plan is very limited, so you might want to take a look at the paid options.


PR.com is a reliable distribution service. On its free plan, press releases are submitted to search engines, news sites and RSS feeds. Your distribution will be very limited, though.


NewswireToday distributes press releases to news outlets and major search engines. However, the free plan includes third-party ads and only syndicates releases to RSS feeds.

Online PR Media

Online PR Media is a reputable press release distribution platform that offers both free and paid options. While it syndicates to 5,300 websites, this is only available on the more expensive plans. The free, limited option includes ads.


One of the more flexible free press release distribution platforms, MarketPressRelease.com allows for one free press release per day. Their monthly paid plans allow up to 15 press releases per day, depending on the level of subscription.

In conclusion

When evaluating which free press release distribution service is right for you, consider:

  • Who your target audience is and what kind of coverage you’re looking for.
  • Which services can ultimately connect you to your target audience.
  • Any reporting features that can help you monitor the performance of your press releases.

Of course, free press release distribution services can help any small business on a tight budget. However, remember that the free version of even the best services can be extremely limited. That limitation could prevent your story from reaching the journalists who will actually be interested in covering you. 

While you may start with a free service, keep the paid options in mind so that you can possibly budget for them in the future. The time and effort you invest into your press releases should have a return on investment.

Check out our four tips to find the right journalists to cover your brand.

As you’re evaluating the best free press release distribution service for your brand, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

4 ways to find the right journalists to cover your brand

Generating buzz through earned media coverage begins with finding the right journalists to cover your brand’s story and various news updates.

Earned media results from media outreach and is the fastest-growing form of marketing. In the simplest sense, earned media refers to any material written about you or your brand that you haven’t paid for or created yourself.

Keep in mind that journalists get multiple pitches and requests every day. In fact, a recent study estimates that journalists have more than 300 emails waiting for them each morning.

Check out our eight tips to write a press release that gets noticed, and dive deeper into the difference between a media pitch and a press release.

But regardless of how great your media pitch, press release or both are, if you’re directing them to the wrong journalist, you’re not going to get the media coverage you’re aiming for.

The following are four ways to find the right journalists to cover your brand. You can then add everyone you find to a standing media list.

Consider your target audience

Just like with any other digital marketing tactic, you must keep your target audience in mind. If you’re clear on who you’re trying to reach, you’ll have a better direction of the journalists (and their beat coverages) that you want to connect with.

In addition, you can locate media consumption habits through various data published by several research organizations. That also can help you fine-tune your media search.

Check out our seven tips to help you determine your target audience

Start searching locally

While national media coverage is a top goal for many brands, don’t underestimate the power of local journalists.

You can locate individual journalist names through:

  • Newsletters
  • Regional publications
  • Social media
  • Google searches (including with relevant keywords)
  • Media databases, such as Muckrack

Remember to exhaust all local publications and media outlets in your area. To narrow down to the best journalists to potentially cover your brand, look for news stories on related topics and take note of the byline, which should include both the journalist’s name and preferred contact information.

Of course, while you should begin locally, once you exhaust those possibilities, it never hurts to expand nationally.

Target the individual journalists, not the publications

It’s a common mistake for marketers to email their media pitches and/or press releases to the generic email address for an entire publication.

Consider these generic publication email addresses the black hole of media outreach. It’s very easy to assume that these inboxes are high volume, and you can easily get lost in the shuffle.

Make the effort to dig beyond the generic publication contact information. 

Look at who’s covering your competitors

Performing a basic competitive analysis can uncover a wealth of information, including which journalists are covering your competition.

If they’re interested enough to cover them, then they’re the journalists you should be reaching out to.

While a simple Google News search is a great way to find this, check out these 16 tools to make your competitive analysis easier.

Once you identify the right journalists to potentially cover your brand through earned media coverage, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 tips to write a press release that gets noticed

While some may think a press release is archaic, it still should be part of your overall marketing strategy.

In the simplest sense, a press release is a news story written by a public relations professional and sent to targeted members of the media. Typical elements include:

  • Headline
  • Subheadline
  • Dateline
  • Lead sentence with the most important information up front
  • Body text that expands on the news
  • Quotes from representatives of your brand or other relevant individuals
  • Company boilerplate
  • Contact information

Of course, the days are different from when press releases were the dominant way that brands could get their story out. Now, just social media alone provides an immediate solution for brands to directly tell their story to consumers.

But the relevance of a press release remains.

About 44 percent of journalists trust press releases the most, with a portion saying that it’s their most trustworthy source of brand-related information.

There is a nuance in crafting a press release that’s both informative and engaging. The following are eight tips to write a press release that gets noticed.

Determine a relevant, newsworthy angle

Before you even begin to write a press release, you have to ask yourself: “Why would anyone be interested?”

You need to have a newsworthy angle. Remember that a press release is about delivering an official statement to the media in addition to your current and potential customers.

The media still counts on press releases for discovering story ideas. Give them the why they need to notice your press release among all others. In fact, your why should be in the first sentence.

Here are some topic ideas:

  • Receiving an award
  • Launching a new product or service
  • Hiring a new executive
  • Planning a big event
  • Managing any type of crisis

Of course, you’re not the only brand that would ever launch a new product, for example. Go behind the standard, expected angle and see if you can offer a unique perspective to your brand’s news.

Focus on an engaging headline

Your headline is the first thing a reporter reads in your press release, which makes it almost one of the most important parts. It is your first impression, for sure.

More than anything, you want to stand out. Think about how you can be both catchy and informative. Also, consider opportunities to include:

  • Action words
  • Numbers
  • Interesting adjectives
  • Accuracy

Check out our 19 tips to write engaging, effective headlines.

Keep it brief

While you might be tempted to include every possible detail in your press release, don’t. Stick with the facts, and don’t stray away from the point or repeat yourself. 

You want journalists to have all the relevant information they need to write their stories, but you want to be skimmable as well. If it’s too dense and long, you risk losing their interest altogether.

A general recommendation is to be one or two pages maximum, but strive for only one page if possible.

Provide a release date

Including a date in your press release tells the reader exactly how new or old the story is. This is necessary for journalists.

Remember that if the news should not be released yet, you can have an “embargoed until” date. There’s no for-sure guarantee that every journalist will observe it, but most should.

Include a call-to-action

What do you want the journalist to do because of your press release? Including a strong call-to-action clearly expresses what you want him or her to do.

Because a majority of readers will not read it to the end, you’ll want to include your CTA high up in your text, preferably between the first and third paragraphs.

Keep these factors in mind with your CTA:

  • Formatting with bold and italics to draw attention
  • Standing alone from the rest of your text
  • Including a link

Share quotes

Quotes are a great way to add authority and dimension to your press release. You can quote an executive from your company, an industry expert or other relevant individual.

Plus, journalists definitely use press releases for quotes and often pull them directly for their articles. 

Try to include quotes from more than just one source. 

You should include contact information for your company’s point of contact in case a journalist wants additional quotes or has any questions.

Leverage multimedia in your press release

Whenever you can show rather than tell, go for it. Including multimedia in your press release can enhance your storytelling while also offering additional information and visual references.

Press releases with a visual element get about three times more views. Multimedia types you can use:

  • Photos
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • PDFs

Just make sure that the multimedia you’re including is high-quality and shareable.

Visuals also impact emails in general. See these six ways that visuals increase email conversions.

SEO still matters

Press releases exist digitally, so search engine optimization (SEO) for everything you put out there still matters. Keep your keywords in mind.

Check out these 11 free SEO keyword research tools that you should consider.

In addition, think about:

  • Keeping your sentences and paragraphs short
  • Bolding and italicizing critical information
  • Using bullets and/or number lists

Check out our 12 SEO marketing tips for beginners.

In conclusion

Be patient when writing your first few press releases and don’t be afraid to tweak, adjust and proof multiple times to get it right. (Of course, you’ll want to proof for any spelling or grammar mistakes.) Practice makes perfect. Just focus on your target audience and how you can stand out from the crowd.

While you’re writing your press release, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.