At Daily Posts we help clients all over the world to write and distribute effective press releases. Contacting the media is easier than you might think. Read on if you are looking to self-promote.
Once you’ve written your press release you may be confused when thinking about the next step, distribution. You will want to reach a wide range of people, including key influencers at media outlets who will hopefully spread your press release further through their channels, but the specifics regarding how you do this may seem a bit of a minefield, and maybe even intimidating if you’re new to the public and media relations world.
Luckily, you have options, including using a professional third-party company that can distribute the press releases for you. Sometimes, if you choose to use a professional press release writer or writing service, they will offer you the option to send out the release for you through their contacts,networks and subscribed PR services. If you don’t have this option, or if you’ve written the press release in-house, you can distribute the press release yourself more easily than you might think.
What is the Goal of the Press Release?
Every press release is made for a specific reason and, therefore, has a set goal. Some will promote a service or product, while others will announce a special event or new company hire or initiative. You probably had a very clear topic for your press release before you even began writing, but your promotional goals for your press release are slightly different and determine who you should send it to; what are you saying and who do you want to hear it?
Press releases that are geared toward personal consumers or are specifically written to attract more customers might be distributed differently than press releases targetting corporate clients or those announcing special achievements that only industry professionals or reporters might be interested in. Once you’ve decided on the press release’s subject and what you want it to achieve, you can move on to the next step in the process.
Choosing an Audience
This is also a step that you probably took before you began writing, but, again, it has to be thought through again when you’re ready to send out your press release. You’ll want to reach the same audience that you had in mind while writing or developing your release. If the release went off track then this is a great opportunity to edit it back to where it should be.
Press releases that are written about new products or services might be geared toward existing and potential customers but they might also be interesting for sponsors and investors to read. Media outlets might want to read them too, especially if it’s an innovative product or service that employs breakthrough technology.
Other press releases might not be for customers at all, but rather for other industry members, and may be about new industry standards recently set forth or about company mergers or acquisitions. Your audience will determine the list of contacts you use during distribution. Think carefully about who they are.
Distributing Press Releases
Once you’ve created your list of people, media outlets, or companies that you want to read your press release it is time to physically send out the press release. You’ll first want to send the release to appropriate media outlets. While you want as many people as possible to read your press release you should choose your recipients wisely. For instance, if you’re a finance business writing about financial topics, you’ll want to target financial editors and journalists, not hard news reporters or entertainment writers.
E-mail is one of the best options for press release distribution; certainly one of the easiest. However, this medium is also an easy way to get your release ignored if you do it wrong. To avoid your release getting deleted, ignored, or marked as spam take a few precautions before sending it.
Firstly, make sure the subject line of the e-mail is attention grabbing. Next, make sure you paste the text of the press release in the body of the e-mail; mail with attachments can get automatically deleted by anti-spam filters that media outlets use to cut down on incoming messages. Make sure you don’t send out several e-mails to the same recipients or same company, as you don’t want to be accused of spamming.
Another common way to send out releases is by fax. Yes, people still use faces. If you have access to a physical fax machine you can choose to fax your release manually. This option, however, will take time, and, if you have to fax to long-distance numbers, extra money in the long run. There are also desktop fax options. This involves software or a third-party company that will send out mass faxes to multiple phone numbers; you simply list the fax numbers as you would e-mail addresses and hit send. You can also use web-based fax systems which will actually schedule a predetermined date and time to send out your press release to a set list of contacts.
Finally, there is the option to mail your press releases through the post. This option, however, will cost you money as you need to pay for the individual postage of each envelope you send. It can be a great way to get attention from busy people in the media though.