I've produced press releases in the past that I would send to online news portals for publication. However, now I need to create a press release for a non-hosting product that has to go out to ground level (newspapers/radio). What format is customarily used? PDF? DOC?
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This depends on the specific media, but generally larger companies have the ability to edit PDF documents. Absent asking each of them, .doc's are a safe bet.
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PDF will work on any computer, and I have found that most newspaper companies use long outdated word programs that wont open anything you send. A PDF is always the safest bet along with just dropping the press realease into the email you are sending to them. I know thats the quickest way for me to grab press realses when I upload them to Gawkwire.com