Your press release is done. You have got your list of appropriate media contacts. Now, all you have to do is send out the emails. While sending out an email may seem easy, there are quite a few steps to get it just right so that you get the right media support.
6 steps to a press release email
1) Subject Line
This is the most important part of your press release email because more than likely an email will be opened if there is an interesting, eye-catching topic. If you create the right hook, you have a very good shot of getting great media coverage. If you mess it up, it is likely that your email will go straight to their trash and never be looked at.
Try and create a subject line that is different from your press release headline. While it makes sense to use your press release headline as your email subject, it may not seem interesting enough to open for the reader. You need to create a subject line that is concise and gives a better clue about what the press release is about. Depending on the type of media support you are looking for, try and also make it relevant to them.
They have already opened your email, now you need to keep them engaged. The greeting is an overlooked but important part of email marketing. It sets the tone for the rest of the document.
Try not to be overly familiar, especially if it is someone that you have not interacted with before, but a nice touch would be to include the recipient’s name. It will keep them interested in reading your email because it shows that you have written this email specifically for them and it isn’t just a copy-paste job that you have sent to multiple journalists.
There are two scenarios that an introduction can do: It can make the journalist regret giving you attention or it can make them more interested in who you are and your business. I am pretty sure that you want the second scenario. The only way that that can happen is if you prove that you can stand out in your industry. You need to prove to them why they should give you the time of day because other people are probably trying to send the same pitch.
The best way to get a journalist’s attention is by making a connection with them by referencing something they have done recently, complimenting them about their work, showing your appreciation for things they have done, etc.
4) Email Body
You have managed to retain their attention, which is a really good thing.
At this stage, the rest of your email should be about your press release so you want to keep all other text to a minimum. Your goal is to make the connection of your press release with what you mentioned in your introduction.
You want to keep your closing short and sweet, but also professional.
It is important to remember to share your contact details so that they can connect with you if they need other information. That is possibly the most important thing because if you don’t provide them with your details, they may not proceed with your press release.
6) Paste Your Press Release
Once you are done with your text, you can paste your press release document directly on the email document you are sending out. It is better if there are no attachment links as I will explain later.
Now it is just a waiting game.
You have sent out the email and now you need to wait for their response. You do not want to appear too needy, but if they haven’t responded after a few days, then you should send them a follow-up email.
If there is still no response from them, then they probably didn’t find anything interesting in your press release and you can move on. Avoid sending more than two follow-up emails. This not only looks unprofessional but it could also annoy all the media influencers you’ve pitched to.
5 Tips for Press Release Email Success
a) No Attachments
You want to make the journalist’s life as easy as possible, which means that you shouldn’t make them open another link to get the information they are expected to read. Downloading a document can be risky for anyone and no one wants to accidentally download a virus to get a story.
b) Avoid Mass Emails
While it is possible -even convenient – to use press release distribution services you should compliment this with some targeted pitching. Targeted pitching helps you build relationships with journalists who can help you generate the publicity your brand deserves in the future.
Keep it simple well. Don’t ramble – rather, keep everything brief. Just let the journalist know why you’re emailing them, how it can benefit them, and where to contact you if they need more information.
Make sure that your grammar and spelling has no errors because mistakes show that you don’t really care about your press release and you’re not bothered about coming across as a professional. Make sure you double and triple check before you send it out. One wrong move could end in rejection.
e) Keep the Relationship Going
Once your press release has been accepted, try and keep the relationship going. Try and help these journalists write more good stories in the future. This way, you can build mutually beneficial relationships with your media contacts. If you can consistently be a valuable source of information for a journalist, then they will happily be a source of positive media coverage for your brand.
f) Thank the journalist for coverage
If a journalist or media outlet decides to feature your brand in a story, don’t simply tick this item off your to-do list and move on with your day. Instead, take a moment to thank the media contact for the time they’ve dedicated to writing about your brand. While a simple thank you is usually enough, if you go out of your way to thank a journalist in a way that matters to them, they are likely to remember you later on. For example, you could send them tickets to an industry event with no strings attached or introduce them to a network of thought leaders who they can turn to for quotes and valuable information while writing future pieces.
Getting media coverage by email is not easy, but if you have got the right tools and tips, you will be able to hit the ground running right with the perfect pitch to match the perfect press release.
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