How do you distribute press releases? Read our expert guide on everything you need to know about press release distribution below.
Table of contents:
- What is press release distribution?
- Why is it important?
- What makes a good press release?
- How to distribute a press release
- What are the benefits of press release distribution?
- Press release distribution mistakes to avoid
- Press release distribution checklist
What is press release distribution?
Press release distribution is the act of sending out your press release to journalists or members of the media in order to provide information, make a statement or make an announcement. This is a great way to promote a campaign that you are working on or get something across to the press that you think would make a great story.
You can send a press release out to a list of journalists who specialise in the area of your story, news outlets who may be interested in covering it or pitch to specific journalists for an exclusive cover. There are many options when it comes to how you distribute a press release, who you send it to and the results that you expect to get. Using press release distribution software is a key element in the success of your story as it allows you to write, send and track your release, see who opened it and plan what time and day you should send your release for the best traction.
Why is it important?
Press release distribution can be the key element in getting your story to make the news. When your story gets good coverage in the press, it can lead to increased revenue, higher website traffic, and public awareness. A press release distribution tool can be a cost-effective way to keep your company in the public eye and help you to tell stories that matter. It allows you to distribute your story to online, national, regional and specialist outlets and as many or as few journalists as you need to get your desired coverage.
Having effective press release distribution takes the grunt work out of PR and makes the effort of writing a press release worth it. It affords you access to a wide variety of journalists and publications and the ability to filter searches allows for the easy curation of media lists. Creating lists of contacts who you know will have an interest in your story will save you the time it would otherwise take to search through google and put together a list hoping for the best outcome. The guarantee of up to date contacts with a very low bounce rate makes press release distribution software an essential tool for PR professionals.
How to distribute a press release
Press release distribution is most easily done through PR software like a media contacts database. The other alternative is to distribute it yourself using your list of contacts and a variety of tools. This method can be time-consuming and ineffective as it leaves the chances of your story being picked up in the hands of a contacts list that may not have an interest in your release. Using a contacts database allows you to search for and curate lists based on certain topics and increase the chances of getting your press release to the right audience.
Here are a few steps on how to distribute a press release:
- Find journalists who may be interested in your release or pitch. This is one of the most important steps in press release distribution as it will determine whether or not your story has a good chance of getting covered. The best way to do this is either to use a media contacts database or to use the power of the internet to find the Linkedin and Twitter profiles of journalists who cover your desired topic
- Create a list with these journalists. This is easily done on a media contacts database which contains contacts that can be filtered by topic. Putting together a list of the journalists you want to send your release to will keep them in the one place and take away the hassle of individually inputting contacts.
- Write a catchy subject line. Make sure that it stands out from the rest by capturing your story and using buzzwords.
- Send your press release or pitch at the right time. Using analytics can be a great way to see when the industry average of email opens is and to predict what time to send your press release for the best results. You can also check the day and time of a show you are pitching to, or the day that a journalist is published and work around that.
Check out how you can easily Distribute Press Releases with MediaHQ below:
What are the benefits of press release distribution?
Sending a press release brings many benefits to a company or service. It can help to spread the word about a new service or product, bring attention to charity campaigns and help to promote an upcoming event. Here are some benefits of press release distribution:
- Coverage of your brand, product or service in the media can boost your SEO. Increased website traffic will move your brand to the top of the search which will, in turn, create more interest.
- Increased sales are a major benefit to press release distribution. If your product gets coverage in a publication with a loyal customer base, it can increase interest and sales of your new product and others.
- Increased brand awareness is another benefit of press release distribution. The more coverage you get, the more people will know about you. Even if they don’t buy the product or service that your press release covers, they might keep you in mind and come back in the future.
Press release distribution mistakes to avoid
Making simple mistakes when distributing press releases can have a giant impact on the reach of your story. Here are some common mistakes and how to avoid them:
- Sending a press release at the wrong time. This can lead to your story getting lost in a sea of emails and buried at the bottom of a journalists’ inbox. Ensure when you are sending out a pitch or a story that you check out the best times to send a release and know when to follow up.
- If your press release is too long, you risk jeopardising your chance of getting a story picked up. A journalist wants to read a press release that is short and to the point, with only the information essential to their piece. Always include a way for them to contact you so they can get more details about a story if necessary.
- Targeting the wrong audience or a random group of journalists is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to press release distribution. Ensuring that you research your desired audience and pitch to journalists who cater for them is essential.
Press release distribution checklist
Here is a checklist of the key things to consider before distributing your press release:
- Have you researched the audience?
- Have you put together a list of media contacts who will reach this audience?
- Do you know the best time and day to send out a press release?
- Have you included contact information?
- Does your headline stand out?
- Are you using a press release distribution tool?
If you answered yes to most or all of these questions, you are ready to distribute your press release.
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.
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.