Happy Holidays! Have You Submitted Your Holiday Features Releases?
[By Angela Buna]
Happy Thanksgiving to our U.S. Marketwired clients!
Thanksgiving traditionally kicks off the holiday season. Have you started your shopping? More important, have you submitted your holiday features releases?
The deadline for holiday features content is fast approaching at most major media publications. Toronto Star, for example, set the deadline for its last minute holiday shopping guide to Thursday, December 3. Here at Marketwired, the deadline for the “Holiday – Last Minute” features package is Tuesday, December 1.
Why a features release? And why should you aim to meet these deadlines?
A features story is typically evergreen content that can be used at any time rather than breaking news that must be shared right away before it loses its relevance. Features topics can include travel, health, family, pets, personal finance and holiday gift buying. With the holidays fast approaching, now is a perfect time to capitalize on some of the features topics that are particularly relevant this time of year.
What sort of information do you want to share? Is it a great new gift idea? Is it a product that can keep families safe when driving in the snow? Perhaps you would like to offer some advice on how best to budget for the holidays, ensuring a happy and safe January?
These story ideas and more are perfect for the Marketwired’s Holiday Features newsline. As the only leading wire service with features distribution to both Canada and the U.S., Marketwired distributes features press releases to:
- North American Dailies: Features editors at daily newspapers in Canada and the U.S. via The Canadian Press and The Associated Press
- North America Features Publications: Consumer-directed magazines in Canada and the U.S. such as Country Living, Cosmopolitan, Family Circle and Parade
- Trades: Target industries, selected during the submission process
- Online: Websites, databases, online services
If it’s the first time you’re submitting a features story, writing a features release is simple and quite similar to a traditional press release.
Features release guidelines:
- A features release is written for verbatim use so a journalist can run with it the way it is received, if so desired
- The writing style is informative rather than promotional
- The headline and first paragraph are written to be attention-getting and captivating
- Benefits are detailed in the second paragraph, while the third paragraph typically contains a source and/or a website
- The release generally contains no more than 400 words and uses bullets to support content
- There is no boilerplate
Keep in mind as well the advantages of including multimedia elements in a features release! Sometimes features editors will only use the multimedia content and caption from a features release, but not the text. Your content is still receiving coverage, but with the added bonus of a beautiful visual that will be eye-catching to both editors and readers.
Marketwired client Adorama, for example, issued a release on Nov. 23 announcing its new holiday gift guide. This release included several excellent multimedia elements including a large photo and links directly to the Adorama holiday gift guide website. This is a great example of how you can integrate multimedia content into your releases.