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How to Choose the Best Press Release Distribution Software

8 Minute Read
By Ciara Byrne

How do you choose the best press release distribution software? Read our simple guide below on how to choose the best press release distribution software for you.

Table of contents:

  • What is press release distribution software?
  • Why should you use press release distribution software
  • What should you look for in press release distribution software?
  • Benefits of using press release distribution software
  • How to choose the best press release distribution software

What is press release distribution software?

Press release distribution software is a set of tools that make it easier to create, send and track press releases. They are essential in saving you time and effort as a PR professional which could otherwise be used in planning, strategy and writing. Examples of press release distribution software include PR databases, analytics tools, list building tools and email software. A PR database combines the features needed to create and send a press release under one roof. They mitigate the need for messy spreadsheets of contacts which have to be manually updated every few weeks. They track opt-outs, provide analytics, are GDPR compliant and allow for accurate and stable deliverability of press releases.

Press release distribution software can be a time saving and cost-effective way of streamlining your communications strategy, creating and maintaining lists and sending press releases with a high deliverability guarantee. Press release distribution software will not act as a miracle solution to a bad PR strategy, but rather work to complement an already good communications team. Having access to tens of thousands of media contacts will not instantly equate to good results and heavy media coverage. It can act as an aide to improve media coverage, but only when the rest of your PR strategy is in working order.

Why should you use one?

Press release distribution software won’t solve all of your problems if your baseline PR strategy isn’t up to scratch. However, it can be an extremely useful tool in improving your PR, streamlining your processes and keeping your contacts in the one place. Press release distribution software gives your PR team access to tens of thousands of contacts, a server to send out press releases and avoid spam filters and regular updates on movements in the media industry so that your lists are always up to date. Here are some key reasons why you should use press release distribution software:

Ease of finding contacts

Press release distribution software comes with contact details for all of the journalists, editors and correspondents in your area. This improves the list building process in many ways, including having searchable contacts separated by topic, allowing you to add contacts to a list in one click. MediaHQ also makes it easier to keep lists up to date as our customers receive a notification when a contact from their list has been updated.

 

MediaHQ Search Tab

Media list building ability

List building can be a tiresome process, especially when it involves trawling through the internet, manually uploading contacts and attempting to keep up with constant changes in the industry to avoid bounces. With press release distribution software, the days of manual data entry are over. With a topic search function, you simply have to search the topic that your press release covers and you will be able to create a list of journalists who cover this topic in one click. Many types of press release distribution software also provide pre-built lists by researchers which are regularly updated and allow for a quick and simple sending process.

GDPR compliance

When using press release distribution software, it is easier to maintain GDPR compliance than when using spreadsheets to keep track of contacts. Press release distribution software will have explicit permission from the contacts listed to use their information so this mitigates the need to contact journalists individually.

 

See how we automatically keep your media lists up to date with our list notifier feature here:

 

What should you look for in press release distribution software?

There are a few key elements that press release distribution software should have. Here are some things to consider before investing in press release distribution software:

Regularly updated with media movements

It is essential that press release distribution software has the latest updates of movements within the industry. The PR software that you choose should give regular updates on journalists who change or leave jobs. This makes it easier to update lists and ensure your deliverability stays high.

High deliverability rate

A high deliverability rate is a must when investing in press release distribution software. Bouncing emails can severely hinder the PR process so it’s important when using PR software that you can trust it to deliver to as many contacts as possible. At MediaHQ, we guarantee a 97% deliverability rate for all of your press releases.

Easy to filter and search for journalists

Easily searchable contacts are an integral part of press release distribution software. The database that you invest in should have an easy way to search for contacts, like a search bar or a suggested topics search which makes it easy to filter through thousands of contacts and find viable journalists for your story.

Can you get a demo of the product first?

Make sure that you have seen the product and have a chance to test it out before investing. Press release distribution software can save you money in the long run but it is essential that you can use the system and have an idea of how it works before you invest. Ensure that you contact any potential databases for a demo before buying to make sure you are happy with the service.

Support and training

When investing in press release distribution software, it is important to know that you will have support along the way with any queries or questions that you might have. It is also important to get training on the product before you start using it. Before buying a piece of software, ensure that there is a close working relationship between the company and their customers.

Benefits of using press release distribution software

Here are some of the benefits of using a PR database:

List building

Using press release distribution software can be an excellent way of curating media lists as it gives you access to journalists’ contact information and allows you to filter them by topic. This cuts out the time that would otherwise be spent searching google for appropriate contacts and their email addresses. An effective press release should not need to be distributed to hundreds of journalists to get a good response. Doing careful research into your target audience is essential and narrowing down journalists by topic using PR distribution software is a great way to do this. When you have a list of journalists in front of you who cover the topic of your story, you can check their profiles, see information about stories they have written before and verify if they are a viable contact to add to your list.

MediaHQ List Hub

Up to date data

Instead of having to manually update your contact lists while trying to keep up to date with the constantly changing media landscape, press release distribution software will have all of the latest media movements in one place. This will make it easier to keep lists updated and keep bounce levels as low as possible.

PR Analytics

Analytics provide the key to measuring the effectiveness of your public relations campaigns by giving you insight into key figures that can help you to send out releases with intention. Press release distribution software can help to track the number of times a journalist has opened your release, click through rates for links included and the industry average in comparison to your release. This information can be useful in informing future campaigns and press releases.

All in the one place

PR distribution software combines the ability to search for and create lists of journalists’ contacts with the facility to upload and send press releases as well as track analytics, keep up with media movements and check a news diary for upcoming national days. Having all of these tools under one roof is a major benefit of using press release distribution software as it saves time and money on using separate software for these functions individually.

 

See how MediaHQ works with our quick video below:

 

How to choose the best press release distribution software

Choosing the right press release distribution software can be a tough decision, especially when there is a variety to choose from. It is important to do some research on the different types of distribution software available and choose based on which one fits your needs the best.

Pricing is an important factor to consider when looking into buying a PR database. Does it fit your budget and what package can you get for your budget? Ensure that you check different PR database’s for their pricing before committing to one.

It is highly advisable to get a demo of a PR database before investing in a month or year-long subscription. It is important to be taken through how the software works by a customer representative so that you know how it works and what exactly you will get when you invest. This will allow you to familiarise yourself with different software and choose the right one for your company.

MediaHQ checklist:

Here is a checklist of all of the things you need to consider when choosing press release distribution software:

  1. Do you know the size of the PR database you are looking for?
  2. Do you know your budget?
  3. Have you done a demo with different PR database companies?
  4. Are you happy with the functionality and features of your chosen PR database?

If you answered yes to these questions, you should be ready to choose the best press release distribution software for your company.

 

Looking to send your own Press Releases? More than just a Press Release Distribution tool. MediaHQ helps you find journalists, build media lists, distribute press releases and analyse results. The Ultimate PR Tool for Press Teams. Book a Demo below.

 

 

More about Ciara Byrne

Ciara is a Research Executive at MediaHQ. Ciara has a degree in Media and English from DCU and has been working with MediaHQ since graduating in 2019.

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Ciara Byrne

Research Executive at MediaHQ

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