Press Release Distribution Tips

Press Release Distribution

 

Overview:       A press release is a written announcement of news about you or your business.  What you do with the announcement should depend on your communications and broader marketing goals.  There are no “have to” actions to take with a press release.  You can and should do what’s best for your own needs.  Unfortunately, press release distribution is an area of marketing where it is easily possible to overpay for unneeded services.  Our approach is to help you get the best value for your marketing spend when it comes to public relations.  Here are some thoughts on how to get an optimal result for a press release.

Why Distribute a Press Release?       Press release distribution is the process of getting your news announcement into the hands of people who will publicize it, with the end result of drawing attention to your business and hopefully furthering a specific set of marketing objectives.

Will Press Release Distribution Get Me Media Coverage?  We can’t answer this with a definitive yes or no, but in general, the act of sending a press release on the wire is not guaranteed to get it noticed.  This will depend on your news, of course, and whether you’re in a segment where reporters are looking for news like yours. For example, if you’re in a specialized trade and you announce a new product, reporters in dedicated trade publications might pick it up without any direct outreach by you. However, this is rare.   Distribution can help in indirect coverage, though.  Reporters often research stories and, in that process, they might find your news if it’s been distributed effectively.

How Do You Distribute a Press Release?     There are several major wire services that distribute press releases for you.  Their offerings, quality, and prices vary greatly and depend on the specific services ordered.  Briefly, and without any implied endorsement, they include:

There are also free press release distribution services.  In some cases, these may be adequate for simply getting your news online in a basic way, but like any free service, it’s usually not offering the kind of reach or quality you might want for an important announcement.

What is the Best Way to Distribute a Press Release?

The best way is what’s best for your needs.  If you’re making a huge announcement and want a lot of attention, you may want to invest in a broad reaching distribution service, such as the Marketwired Global Newslines.  These services can run into many hundreds of dollars.   If you simply want to get your news picked up on a selection of news sites, such as Yahoo, you may want to go with something like the PRweb basic packages.  In some cases, it might be optimal to write it and simply post it on your website.   If you simply want people to see that you’re doing things when they visit your site, you don’t need a distribution service.  Some of our clients distribute their press releases to their email lists and do not put them on the wire.

Your Own Private Send:        It’s worth doing direct outreach to reporters.  We strongly recommend this process, as our experience in PR has shown it to be a proven way to engage with the media and secure coverage.  It’s not guaranteed to get coverage, but emailing and calling reporters with relevant news is a great way to gauge interest and build relationships.   The trick is to be selective and polite in your approach. Reporters are overworked, so you need to be respectful of their time.

Press Releases and SEO:        One issue to address is the relevance of press releases for search engine optimization (SEO).  Many people ask us if a press release will help their site rise in the search engine rankings.  We are not SEO experts, so we are not offering an authoritative answer to the question. However, we can give you our impression of the current state of SEO with regard to press releases and point you to a site that has true expert discussion of the topic.  IF you look at that article, you will see that most SEO professionals do not think the press releases contribute much to search rankings. And, in fact, a poorly executed press release can actually hurt your SEO.  That said, press release distribution can have a positive impact on search discoverability.  And, as one commentator explained, if your press release can gain social media traction, it will push you up on search as other point to you online.