After you write a press release you’ll need to distribute it to get it in front of journalists and bloggers. You can do this yourself or use a distribution service.
Pitching the Release Yourself
Before pitching your release, make sure you do enough research to know the publication and the journalist or blogger. Pitching to a targeted audience will garner better response rates and trust among recipients for not sending irrelevant information. The more tailored your audience, the more value audience members will find in your release.
When pitching, address the journalist or blogger by their name and follow with the body of the pitch. Let them know why you’re right and about the client you represent. Quickly summarize your press release and highlight your main points. End the pitch by stating a response deadline and plans to follow up. Last but not least, don’t forget to thank the recipient for his or her time.
In the past, distribution was achieved via mail or fax. These days, press releases are mainly distributed via email or social media to journalists at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television networks, bloggers, or online media sources. Some even post the release on their own website or blog. If your release hasn’t been picked it up, it’s acceptable to follow up with the journalist.
Additionally, distribution can be accomplished by using newswires such as PR Newswire or Business Wire. These wire services simply distribute the release for you, cutting out the time it takes to pitch the release yourself. Distribution services post your press release to the wire’s website and email your release to journalists and bloggers, locally and nationwide. Pricing schemes vary for each wire service, ranging from free to several hundreds of dollars per press release. Due to how costly distribution services can be, it’s important to evaluate your business, your release’s topic, and your public relations goals to ensure the service is an effective use of your marketing budget.
Statistics shows that almost 80% of journalists wire services for new stories, 56% use them for article ideas, and 56% of journalists use them for monitoring news. Some even use wire services for fact checking news stories. If a journalist or blogger takes interest in your press release, they will utilize the information found in the release to craft their own news story. They are more likely to write about your release if you minimize their work by providing important details upfront. Moreover, a journalist or blogger will be more likely to write about press release if it’s relevant to them and relevant to their publication.
As stated above, accurate contact information plays a huge role when a journalist is writing a news story from your release. Don’t be surprised if a journalist contacts your point of contact for an interview. They may contact you to obtain additional information regarding your company or the release and/or to obtain information regarding the sources of your release’s quotes.
Lastly, regardless of how you decide to distribute your press release, issue it in a timely manner. To maintain relevancy and momentum, quickly write and distribute the release. Timeliness is also a sign of respect of the audience’s time as journalists won’t be pressured by a quick turnaround time.
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