Get Visible: A Complete Guide to Press Releases with Examples & Free Templates

January 13, 2024

Why press releases? To be honest, many times the thought of adding press releases to a scrolling list of "to-do" items for your business can feel like it might tip the scale into overload.

But when Karan Morrow, Owner and Private Consultant of Atlanta-based agency Where2Next? Travel, LLC, reached out after receiving an award from HAR asking for a press release template she could adapt and submit, I thought, "That is a stinkin’ great idea."

So when I created a press release template for the prize, I thought, "why stop there?" (Not sure you want to download just yet? Take a look at our full press release template here.)

Behold, what you have before you now is a full resource on press releases for small businesses! (We Focus on travel agencies, which you may notice, but it's relevant to all small business owners). Here's what we've got!

  1. WhyTop 3 Reasons to Use Press Releases Need convincing? Here's the top 3 reasons to use press releases (in case you need a press release pep talk)!
  2. Case Study: Read my full email interview with Karan Morrow on why press releases are so important for her business and why they're so doable. (Psst, she offers straight-talk about time and financial investment.)
  3. Press Release Template Downloads: Download Host Agency Reviews' Press Release Templates! We've curated templates with travel businesses in mind, but they can be adapted to any small business! The templates include helpful tips and comments in the document to help you along so it's definitely a leap above an AI-generated boilerplate.
  4. Press Release Example: See real results for HAR's Press Release Template download! Here's an example of an adapted template that was picked up!
  5. Press Release Formatting Guide: This is a "press release boilerplate" walking your through the basic components of a press release and how to optimize each one!
  6. Get the Most Mileage from Your Press Releases: Press releases can be repurposed in all sorts of ways. In fact, press releases will probably make what you're already doing for marketing and social media easier!
  7. When to Send Press Releases: A quick list of business milestones that merit a press release from launching your business to selling your business!
  8. Where to Submit Press Releases: Press Release Distribution Services

Top 3 Reasons to Use Press Releases

“Press releases are a prominent part of my marketing plan to establish my KLT (Know, Like, Trust) factor, both among my peers in the travel industry and to show potential clients that I am the travel expert they are looking for.” - Karan Morrow

In my email interview, Morrow mentioned, “Press releases are a prominent part of my marketing plan to establish my KLT (Know, Like, Trust) factor, both among my peers in the travel industry and to show potential clients that I am the travel expert they are looking for.”

Here’s 3 ways press releases can increase exposure and bolster your “KLT” factor:

1. Amplify your Credibility

You work hard, and a press release might be the difference between getting recognized as an expert for your hard work and achievements or not. Press releases enhance your visibility as an authority as a travel expert.

2. Increase website traffic

Press releases can help enhance your SEO “findability,” reaching folks from your target markets you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

Like wine, SEO gets better with age. This means that once your press release is published, its electronic footprint will remain for all internet eternity, working for your business indefinitely.

3. Break it down for parts

Press releases provide great fodder for other marketing initiatives. Once you have a press release, you can create multiple social media posts using the news, stats, quotes, images and more from your press release. When your press releases get picked up, you can add the media mentions to your website.

Press Release Case Study: An Interview with Karan Morrow

Karan Morrow, Interview about Press Releases
Karan Morrow, Owner and Private Consultant of Atlanta-based agency Where2Next? Travel, LLC

I conducted an email interview with Karan Morrow to get a perspective from a small business owner. Her answers were too thorough and too thoughtful not to publish in its full form! Here's what Morrow had to say about the power of press releases.

1. What are some business milestones you have used (or recommend creating) press releases for?

I strongly recommend creating press releases for important agency and personal goals in your business to grow your exposure, whether you're just starting out or been in the industry for some time. These would include new travel-industry-related certifications earned (destination and professional), awards received, interviews done (which also is a plus for the organization that interviewed you) and collaborations you have established. In my own business, I have sent out press releases for: interviews and podcasts I have done or been a guest on, every new certification I have achieved, and my current HAR Hosted Advisor Awards, to name a few.

"Press releases are a prominent part of my marketing plan to establish my KLT (Know, Like, Trust) factor."

2. Can you give examples of how press releases fit into your marketing plan?

Press releases are a prominent part of my marketing plan to establish my KLT (Know, Like, Trust) factor, both among my peers in the travel industry and to show potential clients that I am the travel expert they are looking for. Press releases are extremely effective top-of-funnel content.

Your press release should definitely include your contact information (especially email address, website/landing page address, social media handles if you have them, concise elevator pitch and short bio. If you don't have these elements, now is the time to carefully craft them. I also include pertinent, key information I have used in press releases in targeted lead magnets (i.e. a destination certification and in-depth interview on that destination), which garners email list signups.

"I regularly inform my email list subscribers about accomplishments I've achieved, which helps continue to establish my authority as an expert and professional travel advisor."

I regularly inform my email list subscribers about accomplishments I've achieved, which helps continue to establish my authority as an expert and professional travel advisor. This in turn keeps me top of mind for them and they recommend me to like-minded travelers, eventually converting to bookings. Once my press release is distributed, I also take the permalinks I am provided and add them to my LinkedIn and social media profiles, my weekly content to my email subscribers ("Hey, I was just featured...), and my website "About Me" section. Additionally, the permalinks can be used in other press releases.

Importantly, should you choose to use AI or a template to help you craft your press release? Review it carefully before you submit it for distribution. Don't embellish your credentials, as reporters, writers, and interviewers will vet you and ask you to validate what you've presented and you may occasionally be required to provide some sort of contact to authenticate the information you've provided.

Another important point to remember is that not everything is free. Please budget for and invest in your business, especially in your marketing! As travel advisors, we must promote ourselves. Potential clients and opportunities find you because you put yourself out there. I got one of my magazine interviews because my email footer intrigued the editor—-you never know what someone is looking at!

3. Will you share what your time and financial investment is when it comes to creating and submitting press releases?

"I invest approximately one hour of time to each press release."

Certainly! I invest approximately one hour of time to each press release, carefully crafting so it is concise, effective and making sure I have targeted the appropriate markets and outlets for my niche.

For a basic press release that includes reaching multiple media outlets, expect to invest between $60 - $600, depending on your chosen markets, frequency, and desired press push. Be sure to add press releases into your marketing budget, and take advantage of occasional "1 Free Press Release" offers (i.e. sign up, wait a while, and sometimes you'll receive one free, no obligation press release to try the service - use it wisely!).

4. Where do you recommend submitting press releases?

Remember, your press releases should be carefully crafted, professional and targeted, so choose your distribution avenues carefully, basing them on your niche. Submitting them randomly can get you some very strange and/or non-relative inquiries! Be certain to target your press releases to the Travel & Tourism industry, major, regional and local news outlets, and travel-related RSS feeds.

I use and recommend submitting to: EIN Presswire (paid), TravelPRNews (free and paid), TravPR (free and paid), and TravMedia (networking with media and PR professionals).

If you want to go the completely free route, there are a few outlets you can use. I started off this way. These outlets normally limit you to one industry per press release, so be sure to choose "Travel and Tourism" as the market: PRLog and

Be aware that these outlets will not necessarily get you the intended exposure you may want, as the larger national, regional and local news outlets are not included in the free distribution. These free sites do have "pay to play" options to tailor your press release with paid à la carte services.

5. Can you give an example or two of the impact press releases have had on your business?

"After [my Assuage] interview, I sent out a press release that garnered additional interviews, two features in prominent industry periodicals, and guest podcast interviews."

One of my first interviews was with Assuage International during the height of the pandemic. We talked about how travel and travel advisors were affected, to provide guidance, and expound on what I felt would be coming trends. After the interview, I sent out a press release that garnered additional interviews, two features in prominent industry periodicals, and guest podcast interviews. My press releases have also garnered invitations to some elite travel events, workshops and conferences.

Press Release Template Downloads

To make it easier to cross your next press release off your To-Do list, we've created some bespoke press release templates that celebrate different milestones, including:

  1. Launching your business
  2. Winning an award
  3. Speaking Engagement Invitation/Interview

Here's an example of what it looks like (in addition to the :

Check all three of them out! Opt in below, and we'll send you the links to access our press release templates in pdf and doc.

Press Release Example

Karan Morrow was kind enough to share the press release template she used from HAR to illustrate how she adapted it. It got picked up in a jiffy too!

Here's Karan's press release as published on PR Log! There's a QR code too so you can check it out on the world wide web :)

I love to see HAR's Press Release Templates in the wild :). If you used our template and it got picked up, please send the link to it our way if you feel compelled!

Press Release Formatting Guide

How do you format a press release? While there's no single recipe for a perfect press release, there a few components just about every press release should have. In this section, I'll review the parts of a press release with examples on how to get the most out of it!

Here's a press release boilerplate:

  1. Business Logo: Use your business/branded stationery or throw your logo on the top of the page. The important thing is that media outlets know how to contact you!
  2. Headline: The headline should be brief (no more than lines if possible. For the headline, extra bonus if you can incorporate an SEO keyword. A great headline will include:
  3. Business Name:
  4. Type of business
  5. Business Milestone you're announcing
  6. [BONUS] Unique Selling Point (USP): An example in the template embedded in this article is to highlight its the first agency of its kind in the community. I like to think of this as a small brag, just make sure it's accurate :)
  7. Sub Heading: A sub-heading expands on, adds, or introduced a new "small brag" from what is mentioned in the heading. A great tip is to include some data (e.g. "Company's big event attracts 300+ adventure travel advisors to pioneer innovative solutions for sustainable travel."
  8. Press Release Intro: Include City, State and date. Keep the body of the intro short and sweet. No more than 3 sentences. In your intro start right off with a very brief business description and the milestone you are announcing. Take one or two more sentences to mention the impact or aim of this milestone.
  9. Company Context: "Pan out" and offer a look at your company makeup and culture to offer readers little context.
  10. Quote (Internal): Include a quote from a company leader that offers a direct perspective of this milestone.
  11. Specific highlights of your milestone or event. For example, if you're launching a business, include a list of your businesses' key features. If you're promoting and event, list event highlights. If you're reporting on event success, offer examples of the event's impact. This might be a few paragraphs, or better yet (in my opinion) a bullet point list.
  12. [Optional] 2nd Quote (External): Provide an additional quote from an external source, whether it be an industry leader attending your event, a client who uses your services, or a community business-leader that is welcoming your business into the fold. Who you choose for a quote will depend on what kind of press release you're submitting. Regardless, it's helpful if you select someone who is somewhat recognized to your target market.
  13. Call to Action: Mention an enticement to garner engagement among readers. Maybe this is a discount for a new business. Maybe it's a perk for attending an event. Provide a link to more info for folks to get involved, if applicable.
  14. Business or Professional Bio: Provide a brief bio of your business or a personal professional bio. For example, if you're launching a new business, I'd provide a business bio. If you're speaking at an event, offer a personal professional bio. You can do both, but I'd argue to do this only if you find it absolutely necessary.
  15. Contact Info: Karan said it best, "Your press release should definitely include your contact information (especially email address), website/landing page address, social media handles (if you have them)."
  16. [Optional] End Notice: Some press releases indicate their end with hashmarks or even "END OF PRESS RELEASE."

Altogether you'd have a header (logo, headline, and subheading), 4-5 paragraphs, and a closing bio. If you're using a press release distribution service, be sure that you are following their specific guidelines.

Press Release Formatting Extras

Beyond the nuts and bolts of a press release, there are a few optional steps you can take to make it stand out.

  1. Keep it concise: I like one-pagers, personally, in the ballpark of ~500 words (not including bios, contacts, and extras). But what's most important is that your word count is reflective of how much quality content you have to offer!
  2. Include photo or video: Admittedly, I don't do this in my press releases all the time. But if you have a video or photo that is relevant to the topic, it can help make your press release more visually appealing and could pop up in an image search. This can also be repurposes for social media.
  3. Use data: If it makes sense, numbers speak volumes when using data to illustrate your story and make your press release more specific. For example, instead of saying "Jane Doe was selected to attend the Exclusive Gala Event," you could say "Jane Doe was one of 25 distinguished invited to attend the Exclusive Gala Event." Or, instead of saying "SpaceCat travel business added 12 independent contractors in 2023" you could write, "SpaceCat grew their agency by 45%, taking on 12 new independent contractors in 2023." Data is extremely quotable for press outlets that might just pull a few tidbits.
  4. Formatting Counts: Keep paragraphs fairly short, 2-5 sentences. I'm also a fan of breaking up a press release with lists or bullet points if it makes sense. If there's an opportunity to break down one of your paragraphs into bullet points, I recommend doing so!
  5. Social Handles: Have 'em? Include them with your contact info. This makes you more taggable on the social verse!

If you missed the interview with Karan Morrow in this article, I'd definitely recommend backpedaling to it, because many of the tips I'm offering here are summaries of what she recommended! Additionally, some of the tips are included as comments in the templates so you can see them "in action."

Get the Most Mileage from Your Press Releases

Marketing doesn't end when you hit "send" on submitting your press releases. One of the great benefits of taking the time to craft a press release is that you have targeted content, testimonials, and possible images you can reuse for more marketing fun. Here's a few ideas:

1. Social Media Posts:

You can create multiple social media posts using the news, stats, quotes, testimonials, images and more from your press releases. One press release can provide you weeks of social media content depending on how often you post!

2. Post on Your Blog:

Put your press release up on your blog! This is a great way to get internal links and content your audience finds interesting.

3. Internal Links

If you post your press release on your log, try to link to it in other articles you have on your blog if it's relatable! For example, do you have a post on your favorite Jamaica land tour itinerary? Link to the press release you created about receiving your Jamaica Specialist certificate.

4. Email Sends

Send your press release to your email list, or you can send the link to your posted release in a newsletter (more traffic!).

When to Send Press Releases

Our Press Release templates are really nifty! But they barely scratch the surface for milestones and events that merit submitting one. Here's a list of examples for occasions that merit getting your brag on.

  1. New Business Launch: Did you just launch your new business? A press release is an awesome way to let everyone know!
  2. Business Milestones: Did you have a business birthday? Hit a goal you've been trying to reach? (Psst: see HAR's Business Plan Template if you want help coming up with those goals!) Get a certification or complete an education program that allows you to provide a new service (e.g. booking a new type of travel or destination). Let everyone know! This also helps establish your authority!
  3. Industry Awards or Recognition: Win an award or receive recognition? That's a no-brainer . . . it's time to create a press release! It showcases your expertise.
  4. Planning, Attending, or Speaking at Industry Events or Conferences: If you're presenting or speaking at an event, a press release is a great way to drum up attendance. If you're invited to an exclusive event (e.g. a Familiarization Trip), creating a press release regarding your participation can amplify your credibility when you share your achievement.
  5. New Hires or Promotions: Announcing new executive hires or promotions? Want to let your clients know that you hired a support specialist/team to make their experience working with you even smoother? Keypersonnel additions or internal promotions can showcase growth and expertise within your organization.
  6. Partnerships or Collaborations: Announcing strategic partnerships and/or collaborations with other businesses (especially those regarded well in your industry)demonstrates your commitment to growth and partnership.
  7. Business Growth or Opening of New/Additional Locations: Opening a new branch? Moving your business? Going from home-based to storefront? Getting into hosting travel advisors? A press release is a great way to announce these new changes.
  8. Community/Public Stewardship: Highlighting your involvement in local causes, community engagement, or sustainable practices is a great thing to brag about!
  9. Rebranding, Restructuring, or Website Relaunch: If your business undergoes a rebrand, a restructure, merger, or a website relaunch, a press release is a great step to let people know!

That should get you off to a great start! Do you have other examples of when you send press releases for your small business? Let us know in the comments below!

Where to Submit Press Releases: Press Release Distribution Services

So, now you have a press release! Now what?! Here's ideas on where you can submit them. Most of these recommendations come by way of Karan Morrow!

1. General Press Release Distribution Services

  1. EIN Presswire (paid)
  2. PRLog (free)
  3. (free)
  4. PR Fire (paid)
  5. Response Source (UK, paid)

2. Travel Industry-Specific Press Distribution Services:

  1. TravelPRNews (free and paid)
  2. TravPR (free and paid)
  3. TravMedia (networking with media and PR professionals)

3. DIY: Hand-Pick media sources and Distribute your Press Releases

Don't forget other outlets as well! This is a great (and free) method of cherry-picking and hand-submitting your press releases. Sure, it takes a little more time, but sending releases to places where you have a relationship can really increase your chances of having it get picked up.

Here's a few other places to consider sending your press releases:

  1. Personal Press Contacts: Here at Host Agency Reviews, I've created a "Master Media Contact" spreadsheet. It's usually pretty easy to find email contacts (just make sure you pick editors that are most relevant to your niche). I compiled this over time, collecting contacts from trade media (travel in my case), independent journalists, trade organizations, and more! Every time I send a press release, I duplicate this sheet, name it with the press release headline, then delete rows of contacts if the release is irrelevant to that outlet. A good place to start is with your favorite trade media sites. (It’s pretty easy to find an editor’s emails on a trade media masthead!) From the remaining contact, I send the press release via a mail merge.
  2. Local Media: Don't overlook your local media outlets, news sites, or Chamber of Commerce!
  3. Publish it on Your Website: I always publish press releases we send on our site. Why? Because oftentimes, if someone does pick up your press release, they may only use a quote or eliminate the links if they publish as is.
  4. Email Your Subscriber Base: Let your fanbase know! If you have published your press release on your own site, or if it's published in full elsewhere it's even easier just to include CTA to the link in your communication.

I Want to Hear from You!

Thanks so much to Karan Morrow who offered contributed her amazing insights and inspired this post! I'm curious if you also use press releases in your marketing, When do you send them? Have you had success? Are there any templates you'd like HAR to add to the roster? I'd love to hear some of your own secrets when it comes to press releases! Comment below! or drop us a line at!

About the Author
Mary Stein - Host Agency Reviews

Mary Stein

Mary Stein has been working as a writer and editor for Host Agency Reviews since 2016. She loves supporting travel advisors on their entrepreneurial journey and is inspired by their passion, tenacity, and creativity. Mary is also a mom, dog lover, fiction writer, hiker, and a Great British Bake Off superfan.