You have monitored your PR’s impact with your metrics and found that you’re not reaching your goal of generating interest for your products or services. You might have had many attempts in pitching your company to your target media through HARO, but your emails remained unseen. Are there better ways to help you get coverage? How can distribute your press release more effectively?
Below, we talk about the importance of press release distribution, how to maximize your PR outreach efforts, and how to choose PR distribution services.
Press Release Distribution in a Nutshell
For the uninitiated, a press release distribution is a process of getting your press release to relevant journalists and publishers.
A press release contains the latest news or information about your brand’s products, services, organization updates, and more.
The goal of distributing press releases is to get exposure and create buzz about your brand.
In a highly digitalized business landscape, building your presence online helps ensure that you remain competitive in the market.
How Distributing Press Release Helps Your PR Efforts
Why does press release distribution matter? Do you really have to do PR outreach?
If you want to build a business that lasts, you need to build your brand image and credibility. Through PR, you put your brand in front of your intended audience.
There are several benefits you can take advantage of with press release distribution. Here are some of them:
1. Boosts your SEO
Press releases can boost your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. When your press release is published in relevant and reputable publications, your brand name appears on top of search results on search engines like Google.
It will generate interest, which can also lead to even more backlinks. Links on other sites leading back to your website are good for SEO because they’re one metric to show that your site is credible and trustworthy.
2. Drives traffic to your store
Whether you have an online store or a brick-and-mortar shop, press releases help drive traffic.
When you land awesome media coverage, more people will see your brand. You can pique their interests and make them browse through your site or get on your door.
The traffic you generate are leads that can result in purchases, especially if you can nurture them.
3. Gives you media coverage
If you want to establish a business that thrives and succeeds, you need to keep building brand awareness. This is true whether you’re just starting a small business or already an established company.
Press releases give you media coverage so you can maintain an active presence in front of your audience to make them remember you. People are more likely to buy from brands that they recognize.
In addition, distributing PR gets you links and mentions, which help increase your website’s domain rating (DR).
It boosts your SEO, ranking you higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) and allowing you to reach a wider market.
4. Builds connection with influencers
Today, everything has to be online. If you want to grow your business, you need to build your online presence and reach as many audiences as you can.
Your press release distribution efforts can lead to building connections with influencers, and that’s synonymous with reaching more audiences than you can do on your own.
Influencers are instrumental in spreading the word about your brand. They have a huge following on social media and people trust their recommendations. Many brands are already using influencers to promote their products and services.
How to Distribute Press Releases
You can distribute your press releases in two ways: do it your own or use a press release distribution service.
These two options come with their own pros and cons, and choosing which is the best for you depends on your needs and preferences.
1. Do It Your Own
Doing your own press release distribution involves a lot of hard work if you want to get significant results.
The whole process requires you to find media contacts and create your list of contact information, pitch to the journalists, follow up on your pitches, and build relationships with your media contacts. You can use software and PR outreach tools to aid you in the process.
DIY PR outreach is usually more effective because it’s personalized. You also have more control over what you send to your media contacts. The downside, however, is that it’s time-consuming.
Over time, you learn the hoops and loops and you develop your best press release distribution practices that help you get coverage more effectively.
2. Use Press Release Distribution Services
Using press release distribution services can be a better option if you don’t have the time to dedicate to your PR outreach.
There are several news agencies and wire services in the market that you can choose from, so you only have to select the press release distribution service that best suits your needs.
Newswires make your press release distributions quick and simple. They take care of finding relevant media contacts and they have a wider reach. On the downside, they can be ineffective and expensive, especially for small businesses on a limited budget.
How to Maximize Your PR Outreach
If you decide on doing your press release distribution yourself, here are five tips you can use to maximize your PR Outreach that will help you get coverage:
1. Identify relevant media contacts
Search for relevant media contacts like the top five reporters who regularly cover your niche or sector. You can use online tools like ProfNet, Source bottle, Respona, and Prowly to help you find media contacts.
In this stage, your target is to look for prospect advocates, influencers, and reporters that promote the same message your company has. Each reporter has their specialization or beats, and it’s important to find out which person matches your message perfectly.
Reaching out to journalists that cover topics relevant to your niche increases your chances of getting picked up for their blog post or articles on news websites.
2. Get to know your audience
It’s only logical to research your target media not only to build a relationship but also to understand their genre, interests, advocacies, different communication styles, and unique tones of conveying a message. It’s also crucial to understand their target audience.
Once you have a list of your prospect reporters, visit their social media profiles and look for their featured images, description or bio, and recent posts to see if they could be interested in covering your story.
3. Build relationships on social media
Relationship building is crucial in conducting press release outreach. Your chances to get coverage by your target media lie in your relationship with them. One way to build your social network is to be active on social media.
Join relevant groups, follow official pages, and engage in discussions on trending topics. You can provide data, analysis, or something that is of value to people. This way, you become a source of information that people will go to when they need help.
Public relations experts consider Twitter as the most valuable social media channel for PR. If you aren’t on this platform yet, consider building your presence there.
4. Write the best pitch
The challenge with writing the killer press release pitch lies in timing, brevity, and relevance. In writing your pitch, make sure that you give the information they needed at the right time.
Start with writing a standout subject line. Sixty-six percent of publishers agree that an email’s subject line is the most important factor for whether they open an email.
Make sure your subject line gives them the following:
- the idea that you’re providing them recent information about something they’re passionate about
- context of what the email is all about
- data that most of the audience can find useful
As to the length of your pitch, brevity is vital. The ideal length is between 100 and 200 words. More than half of writers and editors around the globe choose pitches like this.
There are different ways you can give value to them with your media outreach:
- Offer a commentary of a reliable person or an expert in your company (e.g., CEO, marketing head, other C-suite executives)
- Offer original and new research that’s related to published articles on your target media
- Offer original and exclusive content or story idea that’s compelling and newsworthy at the moment
- Provide media (e.g., photos, videos, mixed media) that they can use. Infographics and other data visualizations are as important as your words
Also, don’t be overly self-promotional when you send press releases as it can do you more harm than good. Your prospects are likely to turn down your pitches because of that.
5. Personal connection is key
It would be useless to pitch to someone who finds your news irrelevant to their beat. That’s how vital tip number two is.
After identifying your prospect news outlets, tailor your email according to the specific needs of your media outreach campaign.
Make a personal connection by mentioning common denominators that you and the writer have. You can also mention the writer’s name twice in your message to prove that you’re not using an automated email.
Using mass pitching gives a negative impression to the writers and editors that you’re only after the benefits, and not to build relationships with them.
6. Provide clear ways to contact you
One of the most common mistakes in press release distribution is not including your contact details when you pitch to journalists.
You may have created a killer pitch and found a journalist who’s interested to cover your story, but then they don’t know how to reach you because your contact details are missing. That would be an unfortunate missed opportunity.
So, you need to make sure you indicate clear ways they can reach you if they have further questions and want to cover your story. Include your complete contact information in every pitch you send.
7. Send thank-you notes
When you get media placements, don’t forget to send a thank-you note to the journalist. You need to build rapport and keep the relationship alive, which can lead to getting coverage in the future much easier.
When you’re using HARO, you may get an email from the journalist about the published news story. Not all journalists do that, even your direct contacts, so take the initiative to reach out and express your gratitude for picking up your story.
You can also indicate that you’ll be happy to be an expert source in their future stories.
8. Promote media placements on your social media channels
Make sure that you help promote the published article covering your brand on your social media channels.
If you have a news or blog section on your website, share a link to the article as well. It can impress your followers, especially when you get picked up by major media outlets and the stores appear on major search engines.
9. Track press release performance
Are your press release distribution efforts effective? Whether you distribute a press release on your own or use a press release distribution service, it’s beneficial to track the performance of your press release.
Take advantage of PR analytics to get valuable insights, which you use to improve your next press release.
Using the data, you’ll know if you reached the right audience, which distribution channels are more effective in generating engagement, and if the release helped you get more exposure in major search engines.
Are Press Release Distribution Services Worth It?
Distributing press releases can be time-consuming. If you want to distribute a press release at a large scale and you don’t have enough time, that’s where press release distribution services can help you.
You don’t have to do all the manual processes by yourself, saving you hours of work. With PR distribution out of the way, you can focus on your other core functions.
Press release distribution services may charge you anywhere from $20 to $500 per piece. Depending on your needs, budget, the press release distribution companies that you work with, and the results that you get, your money could be well spent.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Press Release Distribution Service
Using press release services can be more effective if you choose the right provider.
1. Value for money
The price of press release distribution varies per company, depending on the geographical scope of distribution (local, regional, national), add-ons (extra words, images, videos), number of media outlets, and other features.
Consider the pricing based on your budget and the potential return based on the service’s track record. Since there’s no one standard pricing, it also helps to work with a service provider that has an easy-to-understand pricing plan.
2. Media outlets it covers
Considering your targeted audience reach, check how many outlets the PR agency covers. It can help you increase your chances of getting media placements or have guaranteed coverage on major news sites, including Google News.
The number of media outlets, including local newspapers, may also be factored in the coverage plans they offer.
Note, however, that just because they have more outlets covered doesn’t mean they’re always better at distributing a press release.
3. Relevance to your target audience
Consider the audience you want to reach. PR distribution companies may offer plans with segmented audience types based on geographical scope, multicultural markets, or industries.
4. Extra features
Are there extra services that would make sense for your business?
For instance, some PR distribution services may allow you to include photos or videos in your press releases.
They may provide free press release templates, press release writing services, international distribution, or multimedia distribution.
5. Domain authority
Does the press release distribution service have a strong domain authority (DR)? DR is a search engine ranking score, which indicates the likelihood of the media sites to rank in SERPs.
This is an important consideration if you want to boost your SEO and online visibility.
6. Ease of use
Choose a service provider that has an easy-to-use platform and a proven track record of an effective press release for their clients.
Pay attention to customer reviews, which can help you gauge the user experience they provide.
Press Release Distribution Services Examples
If you’re keen on using a press release distribution service, here are some examples you can check out to help you get started:
1. PR Web
PR Web’s offers include press release distribution reports, great reporting features, and other tools that help boost digital audience reach and brand awareness. It’s an incredibly easy-to-use distribution service.
PR Web basic plan starts at $99 per news release while the premium plan costs $389 per press release.
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a free subscription service that you can use to connect with journalists and do your own PR outreach. You may also find agencies that offer PR outreach services and use the HARO platform on your behalf.
You can create a free account and get access to journalists writing news stories for major media sites, including Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, and New York Times.
3. PR Newswire
PR Newswire is one of the most established news wire services. It offers content distribution, media monitoring, and creative services. It can generate accurate reports fast and has a wide range of relevant contacts in its media database, including bloggers and editors.
PR Newswire pricing starts at $350 per news release of 400 words, plus $195 on the annual membership fee.
4. Business Wire
Business Wire distributes press releases globally, covering more than 200 trade and industry categories. It’s easy to use, generates great reports, provides 24/7 editorial support, and has a comprehensive range of circuits.
Business Wire’s US local plan pricing starts at $475 per 400-word press release. Its Premium plan can go as high as $4,195 for every five non-earnings releases.
5. PR Underground
PR Underground offers pay-per-release, SEO, and web reach distribution. It has great customer service and is more affordable compared to other press release services.
Its Starter plan costs $49.99 per press release while its Prumax plan costs $309 per release of up to 500 words.
Pressat offers a wide range of press release distribution solutions, including copywriting and access to its comprehensive media database with over 1.4 million media contacts.
Its monthly plan costs £290 or £110.00 per submission. There’s also an annual plan that costs £1,499.
eReleases offers targeted press release distribution solutions, primarily focused on sending press releases to journalists.
It offers custom national distribution solutions via PR Newswire and provides personalized customer service. It can help you send a press release directly targeting specific industries.
eReleases pricing starts at $299 a press release.
8. EIN Presswire
EIN Presswire provides press release distribution solutions for businesses, giving them access to its global network of media contacts.
Its services also include press release tracking, SEO, and media monitoring. It also offers same-day distribution, international distribution, social media posting, and detailed reports.
You can target specific audiences and get placements on major search engines and news sites.
Its basic plan starts at $99.95 per press release, which is best suited for small businesses that need only one to two press releases a month.
If you plan to release more than five up to 50 PRs, you can get EIN Presswire’s bundle plans that cost between $299 and $999.
9. 24-7 Press Release Newswire
Starting at $19 per post, 24-7pressrelease.com is one of the most affordable press release distribution services.
If you’re a small business with a limited budget for press release distribution, this could be a good place to start your outreach process and get a good press release.
It uses a cloud-based platform that allows small businesses to reach a wider audience. If you’re aiming for mass media visibility, this service charges $389 per release.
PRLog is a free press release distribution service. You can submit up to two press releases per day, which will be distributed to various news sites from their media database. It’s easy to use and reliable, with all pitches approved immediately.
You will need a business email to sign up because PRLog doesn’t accept a Gmail address.
The process and channels used for the effectiveness of PR outreach and press release distribution have changed over time.
Even if social media has already stolen the spotlight of press outreach from traditional media, nothing beats building relationships with journalists, publishers, bloggers, and influencers in introducing your business and increasing your brand awareness and search visibility.
Make use of the tools and tips to write pitches that are short, relevant, and straight to the point to help you get press coverage for your business. Choose a press release distribution service that can cater to your needs and help you get a great press release.