There’s no doubt that press releases are still an effective method to spread the information that a business wants to share with the public. It is an important PR tool for PR professionals to achieve their marketing goals.
Despite the controversies that a press release is no longer thriving, it is here to stay and has helped businesses in so many ways. Take note of the best practices of press release distribution that can take your PR campaign into another level.
- Know your audience.
You can’t write a newsworthy press release if you don’t know your target. How can you craft it if you don’t know who is going to benefit from your products?
How can you promote a new product if you don’t have any idea who’s going to use it? When writing a release, keep your target audience in mind. How are you going to serve their needs?
Make your news, newsworthy by highlighting the benefits that your product offers. For instance, if your product is a new mobile game app, you are most likely targeting teenagers and young adults.
Write your story while thinking of how you can impress your audience. What needs, they have that your product can offer?
- Identify your target reporters.
It’s a must that you know the right reporters to target. You can’t send your pitch to random reporters.
For instance, if you offer a restaurant business, you want to make sure that you are reaching reporters covering food and lifestyle stories. Luckily, there are a lot of tools available online to search for reporters that you can include in your media list.
You may also research on your own by reading articles that cover the same stories. Get the names of the reporters and include in your list.
- Build relationships with the media.
After identifying the right journalists, the next step is building relationships with them. Media relations is an indispensable part of a press release campaign.
In order for you to craft an effective pitch, you need to have a rapport with reporters first. It’s essential for you to craft a personalize pitch because it builds an impression that you have done your research. It creates an instant traction with them.
You should research about them. Read their articles. Take note of their interests and beat.
Follow them on the social media channel that they are most active in. If it’s Twitter, make sure to follow and interact with them on the platform. Create alerts, so you get notified each time they post.
If you like their post, like, comment or share it. It’s important that they remember your brand, so provide a well-thought comment every time.
- Choose a reputable press release service.
Aside from directly pitching to the press, you may also hire a distribution service that can syndicate your stories in different locations, including media and news sites, radios, magazines, newspapers and televisions. There are several services available on the market, so ensure that you’re dealing with reputable wire services.
What’s good with wire services is they are connected with tens of thousands of reporters and publications. However, you have to be very careful of choosing a good service that offers good packaging at the right price.
Don’t think that you can save a lot with cheap services. There’s a reason why they are cheap in the first place. They can’t provide the features that other distribution companies can offer.
- Pitch a story.
One of the common mistakes of PR professionals is pitching a release, without a story. You are pitching to humans, not a robot. Connect your story to how it can help your target reporters in their beat.
Don’t get confused though, your release should contain important facts that your audience could learn. At the same time, it should have a story to tell to touch to their human side.
Follow journalists whoa re a good fit for you. They are impressed that you follow them and that you care about their work.
- Don’t mass email to reporters.
If you think that you are trying to take the shortcut to save time by emailing reporters with the same pitch, you’re wrong. They can sense what’s a copy paste or a forwarded pitch.
You don’t want to end up losing credibility and give them the impression that you’re an unprofessional brand. Don’t do this if you want to boost your chance of getting publicity.
Pitch only to target reporters. Personalize your pitch each time by incorporating personal touches. You may mention how you like their latest social media post, or how you love the article they wrote last month.
Don’t misspell their names. Tell them upfront why you pitch and why it matters. You may elaborate on why and how it can help their work.
- Don’t use a free press release service.
Don’t expect that a free wire service can provide the same benefits that a paid distribution site offers. Free sites give little to no traffic at all, and you’re most likely to get no response from the media.
Your release can contain ads like Google ads that leads to your competitor’s page. Don’t think that you’ll be given a record that measures that results of your campaign.
You will not get any idea how many people have viewed your content. If it is also a concern for you, you can’t expect them to have a customer service. If there are mistakes in your release, you no longer have the access to change it.
- Consider the time and day of pitching.
When reaching out to the press, make sure that you consider the time and day of the week when you pitch them. You can’t just email them anytime.
This is why knowing your target reporters and publications is important. You want to ensure that you know the time and day they are most available to read your email.
Don’t pitch on Mondays, Fridays, during holidays and weekends. These are slow days for PR. Most reporters and editors are not keen on opening emails to check for stories.
The best days to pitch starts from Tuesday to Thursdays. It is the most popular days to email them your story because they are most likely looking for stories to cover.
The best time to pitch reporters depend on the time they pitch to their editors. Make sure that you do it before their meetings with their editors.
Send your pitch between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. It has more than 45 percent open rates than any hours. Another study found that it is best to pitch between 8:30 am to 9:00 am, where most journalists are at their desk checking emails.