Much Ado About Something Newsworthy, Please

Much has been said about how to write effective press releases, and we certainly won’t be the last ones to discuss the topic, but we’re constantly working with our HR Marketer members to help them craft “newsworthy” releases, target appropriate HR industry trades and other publications (and the journalists), and discuss PR strategy in general.

The following are helpful press release tips that we share with our members everyday, followed by some valuable personal tips from HR and workforce editors themselves.

Good luck to you!


Carefully Select Your Publications
Headline and Subject Line
Lead Sentence
Remember that successful PR does not happen overnight. It's a process of relationship building over time, while creating a steady drumbeat of “newsworthy” news about your organization. Making one wrong call insufficiently armed with even the most basic information is enough to stall a relationship before it begins.


Carroll Lachnit, editor, Workforce Management magazine

Workforce Management focuses on issues, and does not cover new product announcements or publish reviews. To pitch a product or technology solution, offer a story where a customer used the product to solve a problem or overcome a challenge, and have a manager at that company ready to speak with one of the Workforce staff. A brief mention of a product in the right context can have just as much, or even greater impact, than a news brief or story. When you send releases, don't make them look fancy – the content should be enough to capture their attention.

David Shadovitz, editor, Human Resource Executive

Midweek days are best when sending releases, but they try to review all releases that they receive. It’s most important that your release has a concise subject heading and lead paragraph that quickly summarizes the news value of your announcement. Don’t bury your news in a lower paragraph. E-mail is fine for sending releases; faxed releases have largely become a waste thanks to junk mail. Employer branding on a global scale is currently a topic of interest. To learn about staff members and their coverage topics, review the magazine website, which is frequently updated.

Joanne Wojcik, senior editor, Business Insurance Magazine

If you’re pitching a story, be familiar with her coverage topics – HR compensation and benefits. Review the Business Insurance website or some sample print copies if you have questions. She'll review press releases via e-mails most any day, but Fridays are not preferred. She writes not only for the weekly magazine, but also for their online site, so she has ongoing deadlines and her time is valuable. Don't call to make sure your press release arrived safely! If a release isn’t the right fit for her coverage area, she will relay it to the person who is.

Jill Elswick, Employee Benefit News

Jill is an associate editor for the weekly magazine, and also edits their Benefit Connect online newsletter. They try to read all press releases, and Mondays and Wednesdays are good days to submit them via e-mail. They are most interested in talking with benefit managers and HR managers who can speak to issues that their readers also face. Again, don’t call to see if they received your news release or story pitch – if she’s interested, she'll contact you.