How to Create a News Maker Announcement

By Bill Hankes on October 24, 2017

Here's a step-by-step guide to show you how to create a News Maker Announcement that will be matched to reporters most likely to be interested in your news.

1. Story Type: Select whether you’d like to author an Announcement (think press release or pitch) or a Media Alert (for press conferences or other event

2. Headline: Create an 80 character summary. Don’t think of press release headlines, instead think about your headline as the hyperlinked search result, because that’s how journalists will see it. Your objective is to get them to click through and read your Announcement. (links to other examples in the Examples section below)

3. Why does this matter? This is the first question every reporter asks. The language you prepare in this field becomes the language underneath the search result, whether that’s displayed on a search results page, as in the example above, or in the form of an alert email, below.

4. Announcement Body: This is where you can draft or cut and paste your story (given the way styles translate, our recommendation is to either draft it from scratch in News Maker or paste in plain text). Again, don’t feel like you need to stick to a standard format like a press release. Think: how can I give the journalist what he or she needs with a minimum what they might consider to be jargon, and superfluous language. Note: you can and should add hyperlinks and images to your story—using the buttons highlighted in the image below—because they not only help bring your narrative to life, but they also can be repurposed by the journalists in their published stories. Images you should include, even if they’re at the bottom of your narrative: logo, headshots, product shots, etc. Unlike some wire distribution services, we don’t upcharge you for this. 

5. Should this story be public? Most of the time, you’ll want to keep the toggle to Yes because if journalists write, they typically link to the source material, whether it’s a blog, a press release on PR Newswire, or in this case, a story on Sqoop (journalists often link to our pages for other stories). When wouldn’t you want a story to be public? When you have a pitch that you really only want confirmed journalists to see, not the general public. A note about our pages whether they’re public or not: This is a journalism network, not a wire distribution service that blasts announcement indiscriminately and has content sharing relationships to make it look like they are getting customers press. These can harm your chances of getting press because when journalists Google your name and see a bunch of headlines on Yahoo! Finance and other sites, it looks like you’ve gotten press already, and that could deter them.

6. Does prior news exist? Following on the point above, this signals to the reporter whether the news you’re pitching has been covered already. The default setting is No.

7. Interview availability. Provide specific time frames (with time zones) when reporters can expect to interview you or another executive in your organization.

8. Final Story steps. At any point in the above steps, you can Save your work by hitting the green button, and then keep working. Similarly, you can Save as Draft and come back later. And before publishing you should always, Preview to make sure things like link breaks work, etc. And then you can Schedule for Publication.

9. Release this story at. This is the scheduling function that has a drop down calendar view where you can select day and time. NOTE: We have a built in review period so the default-soonest you can schedule your story is 24 hours out. This is for quality control purposes. We have turned down prospective customers because of the quality of their narrative or because of shady behavior. Sqoop enjoys the trust of the journalism community, and we consider that to be our most valuable asset, so we protect it. That said, if you need your Announcement to go live sooner, just let us know and we can expedite review and scheduling, no problem.

10. Expire this story. Sqoop promotes News Maker stories for 5 days, meaning it show up in the top of search results and email alerts for 5 days for those reporters whom Sqoop determines to be relevant or for those reporters who execute a search or have alerts set for key words that show up in your story, e.g., virtual reality, frozen food, etc. If you don’t want the story promoted for that long, in the case of a special offer that has an end date or a press event, you can move the expiration date forward.

11. Schedule time zone. We just want to make sure your story goes live at the time you want it, not three hours early or later because we didn’t ask you about time zones.

12. Payment. Sqoop accepts all major credit cards, and you can either store your credit card for future ease of use, or not. Sqoop’s payment processor is Stripe, so we do not retain any financial information ourselves or process transactions. 

You’re done. But not really. We will send you a confirmation email when the story goes live in which we provide a link so that you can see real time analytics about how the story is performing. We monitor progress too, and if we’re not happy with what we see, we may reach out to make suggestions about headline changes, etc. Unlike other services, we can make changes to your story while it’s in flight over the five-day period in an attempt to boost performance.

Try News Maker for free. You only pay when a story is published.

Or learn more about how Sqoop and News Maker work.