If you are working on a press release to promote a specific product, these are often called advertorials. Submitting them to newspapers and magazines will most likely get no response unless you hit them at a time they are in need of that particular subject matter. If you are writing about a product for cats, you can submit this to publications that are specifically for cats.
Another place to try submission of this press release would be to those companies that specialize in advertorials. There are several large companies who offer this service and they could be found by doing a search for "advertorials."
Another GREAT place to send your press release about a cat product, one that you have designed and created, would be to the newspaper that services your area. If you have a weekly community paper available there, they would love to brag about you in their paper and, in the process, help you promote your product.
Keep up with the general business press as well as the trade publications for your industry. If you spot a trend that is relevant to your product or service, contact the reporter or editor who is writing on that trend. While they may not be willing to run another article to show your point of view right away, you'll be setting yourself up as knowledgeable about that trend. Writing a letter to the editor about a recent article on a current event can also get publicity for your firm.
Given the speed at which news is now disseminated, it's unlikely that you'll be able to provide 'breaking news' about your company. These kinds of stories are usually supplied by a wire service or a publication's internal reporters. You can, however, become a source for comment on current events and real time news by cultivating relationships with journalists. If the editor of a local newspaper knows that you're a reliable source for comment on business news in your area, he/she will likely call on you for quotes for relevant stories. Likewise, if you are available as a source for information on a specific topic, cultivate relationships with journalists that might need quotes on that topic. This will provide additional publicity for your company.
A newswire is a service that distributes news and press releases to journalists in every country and in every industry. PR Newswire (www.prnewswire.com) is the granddaddy of newswire services. Journalists use PR Newswire and other wire services to "sort out" the tens of thousands of stories that "cross the wire" every day. You can use a newswire to distribute your news release for a fee. The fee will vary depending on the length of your release, the number of outlets you want it to go to, and how particular you are about which outlets get it. The fee can run from several hundred to $1,000 for a single release. However, for watershed events that could truly impact your company, it can be well worth it.
Magazine articles differ somewhat from newspaper articles, in that they don't have to follow the standard format. They don't have to include the six basic facts (who, what,where, when, why and how) in the first paragraph, and they don't have to provide increasingly detailed information as the article goes on. They can tell more of a story, and may have an attention-grabbing headline or first paragraph, and a twist in the last paragraph. A press release should follow the standard newspaper format, but a bylined article written for a magazine can be more like a story. Be sure to carefully review the magazine you're submitting to in order to learn their style.