A marketing strategy needs to be backed by a good PR distribution strategy if you want to boost company success. As a matter of fact, experts recommend that businesses allocate at least 10% of their annual gross income to marketing.
A well-written press release is one of the most powerful marketing tools you can have. Press releases play a part in enhancing a brand’s legitimacy, therefore helping in the long-term development of a devoted consumer base. However, in order to achieve success with your press release, you need a working PR distribution strategy.
What is PR distribution?
Before we go any further, let’s clarify what press release distribution actually is.
It’s the process of sending a press release out to journalists, publishers, and other members of the press.
In most cases, a press release will include information on a company’s products and services, projects, partnerships, organizational structure, in addition to other pertinent information. With distribution, companies give different publications the responsibility of sharing their press releases, thereby reaching a larger audience.
Why is it important?
The goal of sending out a press release is to get it picked up by media outlets like newspapers, radio, TV news bulletins, podcasts, and blogs. A corporation can then position its brand in front of a larger audience.
While you can publish your press release on your online newsroom and leave it at that, most consumers will be unaware of your company’s press release if you go that route. This contradicts the entire point of creating a press release.
Obtaining press coverage helps in bringing a company or brand name to the general public’s attention. This, in turn, helps to boost brand recognition, especially as press releases are the most popular form of communication from brands, according to 71% of journalists.
Effective press release distribution also has the following benefits:
Can boost SEO
Companies that incorporate SEO strategies into their overall marketing strategy rank higher in search engines when their target audiences perform organic searches online. This implies that if you work on your SEO, you’re one step closer to reaching out to potential customers. These are people who might be looking for information about your organization, industry, product, or service on the internet?
According to a Backlinko study from 2021, getting backlinks from high-authority websites is a key ranking element for SEO when you’re trying to promote your business.
Press releases can help you get noticed in major newspapers. A good press release can also convince external media outlets to link to your website. This can help you rank higher in search engines.
But what if you get great press but you don’t get a backlink?
There’s no need to fret. Both Google and Bing! have previously stated that favorable brand mentions can influence how they rank your website. In other words, positive PR coverage can help boost your company’s SEO efforts even without a connection.
Can drive local foot traffic
If your company has a physical location, press release distribution might help get customers in through the door.
Measuring foot traffic into your store after you’ve sent a press release out is an easy way to measure how successful your release has been. This applies whether you’re conducting an event or simply offering an eye-catching sale.
Can help generate sales
A targeted press release can greatly impact your company’s bottom line if you are launching a new product or developing an exclusive range. Why? If your announcement highlights an innovative product or service, then your press release will generate curiosity and distinguish you from the competition.
Releasing special deals around specific holidays can be a fantastic way to get your items in front of potential buyers.
For example, if a company is offering a deal on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, why not contact retail writers to let them know about it?
Common PR distribution mistakes
Before we get into some PR distribution tips, let’s look at typical mistakes that businesses make. Let’s also talk about how you can avoid these pitfalls when distributing your press releases.
1) The press release is too long
The story you’re telling should be brief and to the point.
Cutting the fluff from your press release is the best way to write a press release that people will enjoy reading, On the other hand, rambling and pumping your press release full of filler words is a good way to turn your readers off – regardless of whether it’s the journalist you’re pitching or your target audience whose attention you’re trying to capture. Remove any unnecessary words and repetitive sentences that aren’t going to benefit the reader.
There are four primary sections to a press release:
- The headline to highlight the main gist of your story
- An introductory paragraph to summarize the news
- Two to three paragraphs to go into the “what”, “when” and “why” of the news
- About the company and contact information
2) They are targeting the wrong people
If you work for a small business and you want to gain some press coverage, you will have the best luck approaching local magazines.
It’s rare for a local business story to feature in national headlines.
If you want to feature in publications that are both relevant to your niche and likely to pick up your story, then you should double-check that the journalists you are targeting are a good match. Many reporters specialize in one or two areas of interest, so sending a press release about health to a sports writer is unlikely to generate publicity.
3) The story isn’t newsworthy enough
Before hitting the “send” button and publishing your press release, you should always stop and ask yourself, “is this story genuinely newsworthy?”
If your press release is overly self-promotional, then your target audience is unlikely to be interested in it. You must therefore ensure that your press release has a relevant angle and includes essential information and data.
Quotes that accompany the story are also beneficial because they help bring the story to life and add variety to the information you’re sharing. Ultimately, a good quote will help you give your company a personality that your readers can relate with and prevent you from over-selling your own brand. For example, if your company is working with another brand, you should consider inserting a quotation from the other brand’s CEO explaining why they want to work with you.
4) The press release hasn’t been copyedited
Unfortunately, bad grammar and poor press release formatting can kill your story before a journalist reads far enough to find out what the story is. Don’t rush to send your press release out before someone who is familiar with your brand and has good editing skills has taken a look at it. While grammatical errors can seem like something small, a typo can actually make the difference between your story getting picked up or left languishing in a journalist’s inbox.
4) They did not include contact info
Imagine writing that piece, pitching it, and then finding a reporter who is interested in contacting your company for more details. If you fail to provide contact details that the journalist can use to reach out to you, then they will most likely drop the story they were going to write about you. After all, journalists are extremely busy people. They don’t have time to go scouring the internet for your contact information.
The bottom line is that if you do not include your contact information in your press releases, you risk losing out on the opportunity to gain more exposure.
At the very least, you should provide a phone number and email address in your press release distribution email to make it easy for journalists to contact you. You can add social media handles if you want to cover all your bases.
Tips for PR distribution
Let us now look at some tips you should keep in mind for effective PR distribution.
1) Send your press release to influencers & bloggers
It’s essential to go beyond sending your press release to media outlets and distribute the press release to high-profile influencers or bloggers who would be interested in the newsworthy story contained in your press release. Just like journalists, influencers and bloggers are always on the lookout for new things to share and discuss with their audiences. Send them your press release, and they may just pass it on to their followers.
When you approach an influencer or blogger to share your news, don’t just send a copy of your formal press release and call it a day. Instead, send a concise note describing your news and inviting them to contact you for more details, or ask if you can give them a copy of your press release.
2) Include images, graphics, and videos
Visual content can add a lot of value to your press releases. Using visuals will not only add variety to your content but also help readers to process complex information much faster than they normally would. When you’re crafting a press release, make the journalists’ jobs easier by incorporating photographs, graphics or videos to increase the appeal of your press release. By doing so, you will also boost your chances of getting press coverage.
Press releases with images are actually seven times more likely to get covered by the media than those without. Adding a video to your story increases its chances of publishing by 1,400%. As you can see, including multimedia content in your press release provides journalists with a more well-rounded and entertaining story to share with the public.
Keep in mind that when sending a news release email to a journalist, you’ll almost always need to include the press release as well as any supporting multimedia. Keep in mind, though, that large attachments can frustrate receivers. In some cases, they may even be prohibited by email servers. For this reason, you might want to include links to this multimedia content so that journalists can look at them on your website.
3) Target outlets that will give you access to your audience
Look for a distribution service that can connect you with outlets that can help you reach your target audience. If your target audience is Twitter users, for example, seek sites that distribute news releases to the industry. You can also search for location-specific Twitter handles. If your target audience is local, use press release distribution services that offer distribution by location to local radio and television stations and print media such as local newspapers and magazines.
If you need help doing targeted distribution for your press release, then it might help to partner with a PR agency with an established network of media contacts, like Pressfarm.
With Pressfarm’s Launch package, you can write a press release and have our team review it to make sure it meets industry standards before distribution. What’s more, we can actually review and distribute your press release for you. This way, you don’t have to worry about figuring out what the best time to send your press release out is. Want to have your press release written from scratch so that you don’t need to worry about any of this? Then our Campaign package could be just what you need.
In addition to making sure you have a press release that creates a positive brand image and puts you in front of your target audience when they’re paying attention. We can also help you create other content to attract attention. Our team of PR specialists, expert writers and certified designers are skilled at creating quality email pitches, guest posts, feature articles and media kits. All of these are designed to excite your target audience and help you win new clients over.
As a Pressfarm client, you also get custom media lists to help you connect with the best media professionals in your niche. Additionally, you can access our comprehensive media database of over 1 million journalists, bloggers, and influencers for up to a year at no additional cost. With these media contacts, you can continue doing media outreach for your brand long after we’ve wrapped your PR campaign at Pressfarm up.
4) Hire experts to write your press release
In order to earn press coverage, you need a well-crafted press release that shares a compelling announcement. Not only must your press release be intriguing, but it must also adhere to industry standards in terms of formatting and structure.
As a result, you may opt to leave it to the professionals and have a press release written by someone who is well-versed with the requirements of an effective press release. The benefits of hiring a press release writing service are endless. Not only does it free you up to focus on other aspects of running a business, but it also ensures that you reach the best version of your press release faster. Experienced press release writers understand the standards that your press release needs to meet and can help you optimize it for maximum coverage in your industry. Seasoned PR writers can also make recommendations on any changes you need to make to your website and any other branded material to align with the press release you’re sending out.
5) Make your pitch valuable
Journalists produce stories they believe their readers will be interested in. Your responsibility is to make sure that the journalist understands the importance of your story so that they can sell it to their audience. Before submitting your release, you should conduct research and gain a thorough understanding of the publication’s target audience.
Several publications specify the qualities of their target consumers on their websites. Before you pitch a story to a journalist, you should do research on their target audience’s demographics, industries, education, hobbies, and expectations. If you can’t find this information on a publication’s website, you can contact the publication’s advertising department by phone or email.
Using this insight into the journalist’s audience, you can explain why your news is valuable and fascinating. Thank them for their time, and send them an email with your contact information and an invitation to connect so that you can answer questions that they may have.
Finally, before pushing send, attach your press release or paste it immediately under your pitch, along with any accompanying multimedia.
6) Send your pitch at the right time
If you want your press release to be effective, then it’s crucial to nail the time for issuing your press release. You should not only decide whether it will be released immediately or embargoed for a later date, but you should also decide when the day of the week and time of day your release should be distributed for maximum impact.
A recent study into the optimal days and times to issue a press release found that:
- Between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., editors open 33% of emails. The average open rate is 26% on Thursdays for press releases.
- The worst days to send a news release are Wednesdays and Fridays when 85% of press release emails are not opened.
The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that you need to submit your press release far enough ahead of time. If you do this, then journalists can plan their stories and contact you if they have any more questions. Assuming you’re sending it to a radio or television station, you should send it at least seven days before you want your story covered. If possible, pitch three weeks ahead of time to newspapers. Likewise, send your release three to six months ahead of time to magazines. Magazines, in particular, set out their editorial calendars months ahead of time.
Using an effective PR distribution strategy is good news for your brand because it’ll make a journalist’s work easier. If you optimize your press release with the above tips, you’ll have a better chance of getting coverage and gaining traction. Choosing the correct distribution service, carefully targeting your release, tracking results, and continuing to promote your press release after it has been distributed increases the likelihood that the media will cover it. Using a press release distribution service gets you the most exposure. Ideally, the best press distribution services will bring your press release to journalists who are interested in stories similar to yours.