Working with Publishers

Press Releases are the most cost-effective tools in your marketing arsenal and their effectiveness and market penetration should not be underestimated.

Magazines, newspapers and news websites rely on press releases. They make up the bulk of the content published, so they want your stories, case studies and articles.

1

The Press Release Competition

There is a lot of competition, so getting your piece in front of the right person, at the right time, with the right message, can be challenging.

Always send a fully crafted press release with as much support information as you can that can be published with little or no alterations.

If the publication wants more information or to re-write the article – that is brilliant. In reality though, in most cases it will simply be cut, pasted and pushed out. This means if you have just supplied the key points, or sent in badly written copy and are relying on the publication to write the article, it will probably just end up in the bin.

2

Research & Strategy

Creating an effective press release requires meticulous research and a well-defined strategy. The goal is to communicate a clear, compelling message that resonates with your target audience and garners media attention.

Here’s a step-by-step outline to develop research and strategy for press releases:

Define Your Objectives

  • What do you want to achieve with this press release?
  • Common objectives might include: announcing a new product, sharing company news, promoting an event, or highlighting a major accomplishment.

Target Audience Analysis

  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • What are their demographics, psychographics, interests, and behaviour?
  • Which media outlets and platforms do they consume most?

Competitor Analysis

  • Look at your competitors’ press releases.
  • What kind of news do they share?
  • How frequently do they send them?
  • How do they structure and present their news?

Media Outlet Research

  • Which media outlets align best with your target audience and objectives?
  • Look at their editorial calendar, if available, to find synergies with your news.
  • Identify specific journalists or reporters who might be interested in your story.

Distribution Strategy

  • Decide when to release your news. Time and day can impact its visibility.
  • Utilize press release distribution services if applicable.
  • Consider pitching your story directly to journalists or influencers in your industry.
  • Don’t send out releases to often and never send out multiple releases in one go, or under one email. Overwhelming publishers with too many options will result in maybe one being used, or all of them going straight in the bin.

Remember, the effectiveness of a press release isn’t solely based on its content but also on its delivery. Building relationships with journalists, understanding the media landscape, and pitching your news correctly can significantly increase the chances of your press release getting picked up and disseminated to a wider audience.

3

Relationships

Building relationships with publishers, journalists, and media outlets is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Increased Trust and Credibility: A publisher or journalist who knows you and your organization will be more inclined to trust the authenticity and relevance of your press releases.
  2. Better Understanding: When there’s a relationship in place, the publisher has a better grasp of your organization’s nature, mission, and values. This understanding can lead to more accurate and sympathetic coverage.
  3. Higher Chance of Pickup: Journalists and editors receive countless press releases daily. Having a pre-existing relationship can ensure your press release stands out in a crowded inbox and increases the likelihood of it being published.
  4. Feedback and Guidance: Established relationships can lead to open lines of communication. Journalists might give feedback on your press release or advise on the best timing for submission, increasing its effectiveness.
  5. Tailored Messaging: Knowing a journalist’s or publisher’s preferences allows you to tailor your press release to match their style, interests, and the audience they serve. This customization can improve the resonance of your message with their audience.
  6. Facilitates Crisis Management: If negative news or a crisis hits your organization, having a strong relationship with the media can be invaluable. They’re more likely to give you an opportunity to share your side of the story or provide clarifications.
  7. Opportunities for Exclusives: A strong relationship might lead to exclusive interviews or feature articles, which can provide more in-depth coverage than a standard press release.
  8. Avoiding Common Pitfalls: Journalists can informally guide you on what they dislike or what common mistakes to avoid when sending press releases, ensuring your communications are more effective.
  9. Reciprocal Value: The relationship isn’t just beneficial for those sending press releases. Journalists and publishers value reliable sources that can provide them with consistent, quality content, especially in their niche or area of expertise.
  10. Networking: Building relationships with one journalist or publisher can lead to introductions to others in the media industry, expanding your network and potential reach. Always invite journalists and editors to your press events and give them every excuse to promote your brand.

While sending well-crafted press releases is essential, cultivating and maintaining relationships with publishers and journalists can significantly amplify their effectiveness. It’s an investment of time and effort that can yield substantial dividends in terms of media coverage and brand positioning.

So always say please.., and say thank you when they publish your press releases. Make sure you follow the publications social media accounts, subscribe to their blogs, newsletters, and connect with them on LinkedIn. Send them a Christmas Card (if appropriate) and add a bit more chat in your communications.

Remember, you are asking for a very big favour – We are probably not interested in your company or excited about your news.

4

Know Your Publishers and Marketing Outlets

Publishers who distribute or disseminate press releases typically fall under a specific niche in the media and publishing world. These platforms are designed to share news and announcements from organizations, businesses, and individuals to a wider audience, which often includes journalists, stakeholders, and the general public.

Here are the main categories:

Newswire Services

  • Examples: PR Newswire, Business Wire, GlobeNewswire, Cision.
  • These services distribute press releases to a network of media outlets, journalists, bloggers, and other relevant entities. They often offer both national and international distribution.

Online PR Distribution Platforms

  • Examples: PRWeb, 24-7 Press Release, PR.com.
  • These platforms are predominantly digital and allow users to publish and distribute press releases online, improving search engine visibility and reaching digital audiences.

Industry-specific Newswires

  • These are tailored to specific industries or sectors, ensuring that news reaches professionals and stakeholders within a particular field. For instance, BioSpace is specific to the biotech and pharmaceutical industry.

Local & Regional Media Outlets

  • Local newspapers, TV stations, and radio stations often have platforms or segments dedicated to sharing press releases or news announcements from local businesses and organizations.

Free Press Release Distribution Websites

  • Examples: Free-Press-Release.com, OpenPR.
  • While these platforms allow for free distribution, the reach might be more limited compared to paid services.

Printed and Online Trade Publications

  • Trade journals or magazines specific to certain industries often have platforms or sections dedicated to press releases or news from companies within that industry.

Aggregator Websites & News Portals

  • Websites that aggregate news from various sources often have sections dedicated to press releases, especially those relevant to their main content themes.

Direct Pitch to Journalists or Influencers

  • While not “publishers” in the traditional sense, individual journalists, bloggers, or influencers can be approached directly with press releases if the content is deemed relevant to their audience.

When choosing a platform or publisher for a press release, it’s essential to consider the target audience, the geographic reach, the industry or sector, and the budget. The effectiveness of a press release is not only determined by its content but also by where and how it’s distributed.

5

Know Your Audience

Researching your audience is a fundamental step before crafting a press release. Understanding who your audience is will guide your messaging, tone, content, and distribution strategy. Here are some effective ways to research your audience for press releases:

Define Your Objectives

  • Before you begin, clarify what you aim to achieve with your press release. Do you want to inform, persuade, or announce something? This will set the direction for your audience research.

Demographic Analysis – Start with the basics.

  • Age, gender, location, education, occupation, etc.
  • Industry-specific demographics, like job titles in B2B settings.

Psychographic Analysis

  • Delve deeper into their interests, values, attitudes, and behaviours. This can give insights into the kind of messaging that might resonate.

Survey Your Existing Customers or Stakeholders

  • Use surveys or feedback forms.
  • Ask about their media consumption habits: What publications do they read? What social media platforms do they frequent?

Social Media Listening

  • Tools like Brandwatch, Mention, or Hootsuite can help you monitor mentions of your brand or industry.
  • Understand the sentiment around your brand and identify influencers or key opinion leaders in your sector.

Competitor Analysis

  • Observe where your competitors are publishing their press releases and the kind of traction they get.
  • Identify gaps in their approach or see what’s working for them.

Analyze Web and Social Analytics

  • Platforms like Google Analytics or native social media analytics can show you where your traffic is coming from, indicating which publications or platforms are most influential for your audience.

Engage with Journalists

  • Speak directly to journalists who cover your industry. They can provide insights into what their readers care about.

Check Reader Comments

  • For outlets where you aim to have your press release published, read comments on related articles. This can provide a sense of readers’ opinions and concerns.

Industry Forums and Groups

  • Participate in or monitor discussions on platforms like LinkedIn Groups, Reddit, or industry-specific forums. They can be goldmines for understanding audience concerns, questions, or interests.

6

Keeping the Media informed

As well as releases, keeping the media informed about your business news helps maintain visibility, build credibility, and strengthen relationships with journalists and the broader public.

Here are some of the best ways to achieve this:

Media Kit

  • Create a media kit on your website with high-resolution images, company background, executive bios, and past press releases. This provides journalists with readily accessible information about your business.

Regular Newsletters

  • Send monthly or quarterly updates to a list of media contacts. This keeps them informed about lesser-known updates that might not warrant a full press release.

Media Events

  • Host press conferences, webinars, or media days for significant announcements. This can also include product launches or behind-the-scenes tours.

Exhibitions

  • Always invite the media to visit your stand at exhibitions you are attending to keep them engaged and build relationships.

Pitch Stories

  • Instead of waiting for journalists to find your story, pitch compelling narratives or angles directly to them. Personalized pitches are more effective than generic ones.

Engage on Social Media

  • Regularly update your company’s social media profiles. Engage with journalists and media outlets by sharing, commenting, or even direct messaging when appropriate.

Create a Media Relations Role/Team

  • Dedicate a person or team to handle media relations. Their tasks would include building and maintaining relationships with journalists, responding to media inquiries, and proactively sharing news.

Provide Exclusive Insights

  • Offer exclusive data, interviews, or stories to select media outlets. This can foster goodwill and incentivize them to cover your news.

Write Op-Eds and Articles

  • Company executives or spokespeople can write articles or opinion pieces for media outlets, showcasing industry expertise and indirectly promoting the company.

Use Media Databases

  • Platforms like Cision, Muck Rack, or Meltwater can help identify and connect with relevant journalists and influencers in your industry.

7

Managing Negative PR

Press releases can play a pivotal role in both proactive reputation enhancement and reactive reputation management.

Swift Response

  • Address any negative news or crisis promptly. A timely press release can prevent rumours from spreading and show that you’re on top of the situation.

Apologize When Necessary

  • If the company is at fault, admit the mistake and offer a sincere apology. Explain how you’re taking steps to prevent a recurrence.

Present Facts and Data

  • If false information is being spread, use data and facts in your press release to counteract the misinformation.

Highlight Rectifying Measures

  • Clearly lay out the steps you’re taking to address the issue. This might include internal investigations, compensatory measures, or changes in company practices.

Designate a Spokesperson

  • Have a trained company representative address the media and answer questions to ensure a consistent and accurate message.

Monitor Media Sentiment

  • Use media monitoring tools to gauge the sentiment around your brand and adjust your communication strategy accordingly.

Limit Overexposure

  • While it’s essential to address a crisis, avoid issuing too many press releases on the same issue, which can keep the negative news in the spotlight.

Follow-Up

  • After the immediate crisis has passed, release follow-up statements or updates to show continued commitment to resolving the issue and rebuilding trust.

Use Third-party Advocates

  • Credible third parties, like industry experts or satisfied customers, can help counterbalance negative news by sharing positive experiences or insights.

8

Editorial Calendars

Editorial calendars bring structure to content scheduling, facilitating forward-thinking and proactive planning. They set clear publication dates, ensuring content variety in terms of types and topics.

By aligning your releases with the publishers content, you can plan more strategically and help to improve the chances of your release being used.

The calendar also acts as a safeguard, preventing last-minute content scrambles and unintended topic overlaps. Additionally, they provide an invaluable overview of the publications content strategy.

While editorial calendars are a mainstay of print publications, online publishers have a more instant approach, which for them makes an editorial calendar obsolete.

9

Traditional Print or Web Media

Both online and print publications have distinct advantages that cater to various audience preferences and situations. Here’s a breakdown of the benefits of each:

Online Publications

  1. Wide Reach: They can be accessed by anyone, anywhere in the world, with an internet connection, enabling global reach.
  2. Instantaneous Updates: Content can be updated in real-time, allowing for the swift dissemination of breaking news or corrections.
  3. Interactivity: Digital platforms enable multimedia content like videos, animations, interactive graphics, and hyperlinks.
  4. Cost-Effective: Generally, online publications have lower production and distribution costs compared to print.
  5. Analytics: Online platforms allow publishers to track user engagement, preferences, and behavior in detail.
  6. Searchability: Readers can easily search for specific content, making information retrieval fast and efficient.
  7. Shareability: Content can be shared seamlessly across social media platforms, email, and other digital means.
  8. Environmental: Reduced paper usage means a smaller environmental footprint.
  9. Archiving: Content can be stored indefinitely, providing a vast reservoir of accessible information over time.
  10. Monetization Flexibility: Multiple avenues for revenue, including paywalls, online advertising, affiliate marketing, and sponsored content.

Print Publications

  1. Tangible Experience: The tactile feel of paper can offer a sensory satisfaction that digital can’t replicate.
  2. Focused Attention: Physical copies often lead to less distraction compared to online browsing, potentially resulting in deeper engagement.
  3. Permanence: Print offers a sense of permanency that digital content might lack, making it valuable for keepsakes or important records.
  4. No Technology Barrier: Doesn’t require devices or internet access, making it accessible to those who might be technologically challenged.
  5. Design & Aesthetics: The design layout, typeface, and print quality can enhance the reading experience.
  6. Credibility: Some audiences perceive print publications, especially well-established ones, as more credible and trustworthy.
  7. Ad Engagement: Studies suggest that readers often engage better with print ads compared to online ads.
  8. Distribution Points: Physical copies can be strategically placed in locations (like waiting rooms or cafes) for targeted audience segments.
  9. Less Overload: In a world flooded with digital content, print can stand out and offer a respite from screen time.
  10. Gift or Resale Value: Print publications, especially books or special edition magazines, can be gifted, donated, or resold.

In essence, while online publications cater to the modern need for immediacy, interactivity, and global accessibility, print publications offer a tangible, focused, and often more immersive reading experience. Both have their unique place in the publishing ecosystem, serving varied audience needs.

10

Brand Building

Press releases serve as powerful tools in the arsenal of brand-building strategies.

When disseminated to the right media outlets, releases can earn valuable media coverage, expanding the brand’s visibility to broader audiences. Moreover, a well-crafted press release, consistent in its messaging and aligned with the brand’s voice, reinforces brand identity and fosters trust among its stakeholders.

Over time, as businesses consistently share news of innovations, partnerships, or community engagements, they position themselves not just as market players but as thought leaders in their domain.

In the digital age, where online reputation is paramount, press releases also boost SEO, driving organic traffic to the brand’s website and amplifying its digital presence. In essence, press releases, when executed strategically, can significantly elevate brand recognition, credibility, and engagement in the competitive market landscape.

11

Local, Regional, or Global

Many international companies have historically split themselves into regional divisions so they can market, sell and support their products more easily.

Targeting the media in that region is very important. There is no point in writing for a USA magazine if you only cover Asia. Some brands also have different products for different regions, which would make their marketing confusing with mixed messaging.

The internet is global, so writing for web-based publications does create issues as your regional messaging will be seen all around the world. Most magazines and newspapers also put their articles online and this is something big companies will need to address.

12

Languages

If you are reaching out to country-specific publications you might want to supply your press releases their language.

Your marketing plan should have identified this and you can work with translators to provide copy.

English, American or Australian?

Grammar and spelling can vary. Depending on the type of English you are using make sure your spelling suits that market. This is most noticeable in measurements, ie English metre vs US meter.

Different cultures call things by different names. In the US a bonnet is a hat, in the UK it’s the hood of a car. A lorry in the UK is a truck.

Try to avoid SEO keywords which can have different spellings, such as Analyze – Analyse / Aluminum – Aluminium / dual carriageway – divided highway / etc.

This also applies to different versions of Spanish and Portuguese, etc.

Do not take language for granted, do your research.

13

Metric or Imperial

Especially important for technical articles is whether to use metric or imperial measurements.

While the US is mostly imperial, the rest of the world went metric, although some countries such as the UK still have their road speeds in miles per hour instead of kilometres.

Consider using both, i.e. 20 feet / 6.096 metres. However, it does get even more complicated as you can also have metric inches, and then there are tons, tonnes, long tonnes, short tons, gross tons and ton shortweights, which are all slightly different.

As it is your business you will already have identified what to use for the markets you are targeting.

14

Currencies

Which currency? US Dollar, Pound Sterling, Yen, Ruble, Renminbi?

It is best to use the currency from your own country unless you are specifically targeting a market. If in doubt, in Europe use the Euro, but the US$ is still regarded as the currency of international business.

15

Embargoes

Unless it is absolutely vital for legal reasons or is really important, never send out press releases under an embargo. It may seem important to your business, but this adds another reason why an editor may reject your piece.

16

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Press releases, when optimized for search engine optimization (SEO), can significantly amplify a company’s online visibility.

By incorporating relevant keywords and phrases that potential customers might use in search queries, press releases can rank higher in search engine results, driving organic traffic to the company’s website. Additionally, distributing press releases through reputable platforms can generate valuable backlinks, a critical factor in enhancing domain authority and search engine rankings.

Further, the consistent online presence and mentions from various media outlets bolster the company’s credibility in the eyes of search algorithms. Incorporating multimedia elements, like images or videos, tagged with SEO-friendly metadata, can further boost engagement and discoverability.

As search engines prioritize fresh and relevant content, regular dissemination of optimized press releases ensures that the company remains prominent in search results, effectively harnessing the dual power of public relations and SEO to benefit the company’s digital footprint and reputation.

It is a good idea to suggest the main keyword that promotes the topic of the press release and your article must include the keyword to deliver the best online results. This is where a professional writer will know how to maximise your communications.

A well crafted release will suggest tags, keywords, and a meta description. Also make sure to include the company’s website URL, and their social media usernames.

17

Internet & Longevity

Articles published online are indexed by the various search engines. This means that web-based content has longer term benefits than conventional media, with people finding and accessing the articles for many years to come.

This gives your messaging longevity.

18

Your Press Release Email

Email Subject Line

Media outlets get hundreds, if not thousands, of emails every day. To get their attention make your subject line stand out so it doesn’t get binned immediately – without them even opening it! Start the line with “PRESS RELEASE” and then your text, which must include a hook to catch their attention.

Email Message

Get to the point quickly, deliver your message clearly. Tell them what it is, and what you would like them to do for you.

Press Release Text

Always include the text of the press release under your email message, as well as in any attachments you send. Most editors want to see what they are dealing with, without having to open attachments, etc. More often than not your document attachment will never be opened.

Credit

Always include the name, country and website address of the company who is supplying the press release.

URL Links

Many publications will include a link to the company, so include the links to make it easy for them to include. Don’t make them have to search, this is just another reason your release may be deleted.

Social Media Links

It is good practice to also include your company’s social media links in the email, so the editor can find them quickly – and not confuse them with companies with a similar name.

Social Media Hashtags

As mentioned previously, it is a good idea to suggest SEO tags and meta descriptions that can used when the publication is sharing the article.

19

PDF or DOC

You will find most publications will just copy your text and paste it into their publishing program. So make it easy for them!

Always include the text in the email body under your introduction.

If you include a document attachment use a standard Microsoft Word Doc file, and always put your header and footer in the embedded areas, not in the body text, otherwise that information is copied as well, which takes time to remove.

PDF files are never recommended as they are notorious for breaking paragraphs and layouts, which can be time consuming to extract and correct the content format. This is especially true with fancy layouts.

Always put your header and footer in the embedded areas, not in the body text, otherwise that information is copied as well, which takes time to remove.

Any images should be at the end of the text, with suggest captions/cutlines.

20

Images

Including images with your press release can greatly enhance its impact and effectiveness. Always include at least one image with your press release which can be used as a header image for online publications as well as for use when the article is shared on social media.

Enhanced Engagement

  • Visual content is more engaging than text alone. An eye-catching image can draw readers in and motivate them to read the accompanying text.
  • A well-chosen image can break up large blocks of text, making the press release more visually appealing and easier to digest.

Increased Shareability

  • Press releases with images are more likely to be shared on social media platforms, expanding their reach.

Higher Pickup Rates

  • Media outlets are more likely to pick up and feature press releases that include high-quality images because they understand the value of visual content in capturing readers’ attention.

SEO Benefits

  • If properly optimized (e.g., through the use of alt text and relevant file names), images can enhance search engine optimization (SEO) and increase the visibility of your press release on search engines.

Emotional Connection

  • Visual content can evoke emotions more effectively than text.
  • An impactful image can resonate with readers, making your message more memorable.

Multimedia Integration

  • Images can serve as a gateway to other multimedia content. For instance, an image could be linked to a video, webinar, or slide presentation, providing a deeper dive into the topic for interested readers.

Credits

  • Always include details on who to credit for the images.
  • Include copyright information to ensure you have the necessary rights or permissions to use the images, especially if they feature recognizable individuals or copyrighted content.

Distribution

  • It is advisable to send a few images with your press release, but if there are more than three put them in a shared folder such as a dropbox, and share that link.

Captions / Cutlines

  • Every image should include a suggested caption / cutline, which may include locations, people’s names, positions, or equipment models, etc.

Quality Images

  • When including images in a press release, it’s vital to ensure they are of high quality, relevant, and professionally produced. Grainy, irrelevant, or poorly composed images can detract from your message and potentially harm your brand’s image.

Professional Photographers

  • It might be worthwhile engaging the services of a professional photographer to build you up a good stock of media images and to take photos to accompany the press release.

21

Video

Including video with your press release can offer several advantages, both in terms of engagement and the depth of message delivery.

Here are some of the primary benefits:

Increased Engagement

  • Studies consistently show that audiences are more likely to engage with visual content, especially videos. This means that your press release is more likely to be viewed and shared.

Richer Storytelling

  • Video allows you to tell a more comprehensive and engaging story. Through visuals, sound, and movement, you can convey emotions and nuances that might be challenging to express with text alone.

Boosted Visibility

  • Many search engines and social media platforms prioritize video content in their algorithms. This can increase the visibility of your press release and drive more traffic to your content.

Higher Retention Rates

  • People tend to remember video content better than text. A compelling video can leave a lasting impression and make your message more memorable.

Greater Credibility

  • Showing real people, products, or events in a video can lend more authenticity and credibility to your message. It provides a tangible and relatable element to your story.

Expanded Reach

  • Videos are more likely to be shared on social media platforms, which can help your press release reach a broader and potentially different audience.

Versatility

  • Videos can be repurposed for various platforms and formats. Once you’ve created a video for your press release, you can also use it on your company’s website, in email campaigns, at trade shows, and more.

Complexity Simplified

  • If your press release contains complex data, statistics, or processes, a video can simplify and visualize this information, making it more digestible for your audience.

Higher Conversion Rates

  • If your press release has a call-to-action (e.g., visiting a website, purchasing a product, or signing up for an event), video content can often drive higher conversion rates compared to text alone.

Enhanced Relationships with Media

  • Journalists and media outlets are continually looking for engaging content. By providing them with a ready-to-use video, you’re offering additional value and making their job easier.

Multisensory Experience

  • Video appeals to multiple senses simultaneously (sight and hearing), which can create a more immersive experience and deeper connection with the viewer.

Showcase Company Culture and Values

  • Beyond just conveying information, videos allow companies to give a glimpse into their culture, values, and behind-the-scenes operations, helping to humanize the brand.

While there are many benefits to including video in a press release, it’s essential to ensure that the video is of high quality, relevant to the press release’s content, and professionally produced. A poorly made video can detract from the message and harm the brand’s reputation.

22

Sending out your Press Release & following up

Choosing the best day to send out a press release involves considering a combination of factors related to the news cycle, the target audience’s habits, and industry-specific variables. Here are some general guidelines to help you select the best day:

Avoid the Weekend

  • Many journalists and editors aren’t working on weekends, and even if they are, many of their readers or viewers are less engaged with news on Saturdays and Sundays.

Mid-Week is Preferred

  • Historically, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are considered the best days. Many PR professionals have found success in sending out releases on Tuesday or Wednesday mornings.

Avoid Mondays

  • People are generally catching up on emails and work from the weekend, so your press release might be overlooked.

Avoid Fridays

  • Especially Friday afternoons, as people are winding down for the weekend. Also, Friday releases can get lost in the weekend shuffle.

Morning Send Times

  • It’s often recommended to send press releases in the morning, typically between 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM in the target time zone. This gives journalists time to review the release and possibly include it in their day’s coverage.

Avoid Major Holidays

  • Your press release might be ignored if you send it out on or just before a major holiday.

Consider Industry-Specific Timing

  • Depending on your industry, there might be certain times of the year, month, or week when journalists are more receptive. For example, if you’re in retail, it might make sense to send out news just before major shopping seasons.

Avoid Clashes with Major News Events

  • If you’re aware of a significant event or announcement happening on a particular day (e.g., a major tech product launch, political event, or a federal reserve announcement), avoid that day as your release may be overshadowed.

Consider News Cycles

  • If you can, try to send your press release at a time when there’s a lull in major news. Your story will stand a better chance of getting noticed.

Frequency of Publication

  • If targeting a particular publication or type of media (e.g., a weekly newspaper or magazine), consider their publication cycle. You’d want your news to be fresh and relevant when they’re putting together their stories.

Analytics and Feedback

  • If you regularly send out press releases, analyze your past successes. When did you get the most pickups or interviews? This data can guide your future timing decisions.

Ask Journalists and Editors

  • Build relationships with journalists in your industry. They can give you insights about the best times to send press releases from their perspective.

Remember, while timing is essential, the content of the press release is equally (if not more) critical. A well-written, newsworthy press release will stand a better chance of getting noticed regardless of when it’s sent. Always focus on the value and relevance of the information you’re providing.

23

Market your articles

Always follow-up to maximize the impact of a freshly published press release. This involves a multi-pronged approach to promote and leverage the content. Here are steps and strategies a company can undertake to maximize the benefits of their press release:

Promote on Social Media

  • Share the press release across all company social media channels.
  • Use relevant hashtags to increase visibility.
  • Tag relevant individuals, partners, or media outlets.
  • Encourage employees and partners to share the post on their channels.

Email Marketing

  • Send the press release to your mailing list.
  • Segment your email list to target specific audiences, if applicable.
  • Encourage recipients to forward the email to interested parties.

Follow Up with Journalists

  • If specific journalists showed interest, or if there are others you think might be interested, send them a personalized email with the press release link.
  • Offer additional information, interviews, or assets that might help them craft a more in-depth story.

Post on Company Website

  • Feature the press release prominently on your company’s homepage or news section.
  • Ensure it’s optimized for SEO to attract organic traffic.

Leverage Paid Promotion

  • Consider promoting the press release through sponsored content or ads on social media.
  • Use platforms like Outbrain or Taboola for content promotion.

Engage in Discussion

  • If your press release is discussed on platforms like LinkedIn, Reddit, or industry-specific forums, join the conversation.
  • Address questions, provide clarity, and thank individuals for their engagement.

Repurpose the Content

  • Turn the press release into a blog post, infographic, video, or podcast episode.
  • Highlight key points in a series of social media posts.

Engage with Comments and Feedback

  • Monitor and respond to comments or mentions on social media and other platforms.
  • Address any misconceptions or provide additional information.

Track Analytics

  • Use tools to monitor website traffic, social media engagement, and other KPIs related to the press release.
  • Adjust strategies based on what the data indicates.

Distribute Internally

  • Ensure all company employees are aware of the press release.
  • Equip them with information to share with clients, partners, and their networks.

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Re-writes and Edits

Unless agreed in advance with the editor, you must accept that your copy may be edited, totally re-written, combined with other copy, or used in a totally different manner than you intended.

When a publication decides to rewrite or edit your press release, several changes may occur. Knowing what to expect can help you understand the process and be better prepared:

Headline Changes

  • The publication might modify the headline to better fit their style, cater to their audience, or make it more SEO-friendly for their platform.

Condensation

  • Journalists or editors might condense the press release to make it shorter, focusing on the most newsworthy or relevant points for their readers.

Reordering of Information

  • The publication might change the structure or order of the information to emphasize certain points or to fit their typical article structure.

Style and Tone Adjustments

  • To maintain consistency with other articles on their platform, the publication may adjust the style or tone of your press release. This could involve changing the vocabulary, sentence structures, or overall voice.

Added Context

  • The journalist might incorporate additional information or background context not present in the original press release, especially if they feel it will benefit their readers’ understanding.

Direct Quotes

  • If the press release contains quotes, the publication might choose to highlight them or, conversely, might decide to omit them if they don’t align with the article’s new direction.

Incorporation of External Opinions

  • To provide a balanced view or a different perspective, the journalist might seek and include quotes or opinions from industry experts, competitors, or analysts.

Fact-Checking

  • A reputable publication will engage in fact-checking. If they find any discrepancies or need clarification, they might contact you or modify the content accordingly.

Changes to Multimedia Elements

  • If you’ve included images, graphs, or other multimedia elements, the publication might choose not to use them, use only a selection, or replace them with their own assets.

Inclusion of Links

  • The publication might opt to keep, remove, or replace any links you’ve included. They might also add links to related articles on their site.

Byline Modifications

  • Instead of your company’s name or spokesperson being credited as the author, a staff writer or editor’s name might be used.

Changes to the Boilerplate

  • The standard boilerplate (the section at the end of press releases that provides information about the company) might be shortened, edited, or omitted altogether.

It’s essential to understand that when you send a press release to media outlets, you’re providing them with information they can use as a basis for their articles. While you might have crafted the press release carefully, the final control over its presentation lies with the media outlet. Therefore, building good relationships with journalists and media outlets can be beneficial in ensuring your core message remains intact.

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Rejections

Rejection is a natural part of the media outreach process. Even the most seasoned PR professionals face rejections. However, it’s essential to approach such situations constructively. Here’s how you can handle the rejection of your press release:

Don’t Take It Personally

  • Remember, media outlets receive numerous press releases daily. Your press release may be rejected for reasons that have nothing to do with its quality or relevance, such as timing, space constraints, or other editorial decisions.

Seek Feedback

  • If you have a good relationship with a journalist or editor, don’t hesitate to ask for feedback. Understanding why your press release was rejected can provide valuable insights for future pitches.

Re-Evaluate Your Pitch

  • Consider whether your press release was targeted appropriately. Was it sent to relevant journalists or media outlets? Was the timing right? Ensure your pitch aligns with the interests and audience of the media outlet.

Revise and Resubmit

  • Based on the feedback or your re-evaluation, consider making revisions to your press release. A different angle or a more compelling headline might make all the difference.

Expand Your Media List

  • If one publication or journalist isn’t interested, that doesn’t mean others won’t be. Diversify your list of media contacts and consider other outlets that might find your story relevant.

Build Relationships

  • Instead of just reaching out when you have a press release, focus on building long-term relationships with journalists and editors. Engage with their content, provide insights when appropriate, and be a valuable resource. This can increase the likelihood of your press releases being accepted in the future.

Leverage Other Channels

  • If traditional media outlets aren’t picking up your press release, consider other channels. Post the press release on your company website, share it on social media, or distribute it through PR platforms and newswires.

Reflect on Newsworthiness

  • It’s essential to be objective and assess the newsworthiness of your press release. Every company announcement might not warrant media attention. Focus on significant milestones, unique stories, or industry-relevant news.

Consider the Format

  • Sometimes, it’s not the content but the format. Ensure your press release follows industry standards, is easily readable, and provides all the necessary information.

Stay Persistent

  • Don’t be disheartened by rejection. PR is as much about persistence as it is about the quality of content. Keep pitching, refining your approach, and learning from feedback.

Evaluate Timing

  • Consider external factors like major news events or industry happenings that might overshadow your press release. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to wait for a quieter news day.

Consider Professional Help

  • If you consistently face rejection, it might be worthwhile to consult with a PR agency or professional. They can offer expertise, media connections, and insights into crafting a successful press release strategy.

Rejection can be a learning opportunity. By understanding the reasons behind it and refining your approach, you can increase the likelihood of success in your future PR endeavours.

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It’s Your Business!

Most editors are far too busy to devote extra time to re-writing articles or translating designer PDF brochures into an article. They are more likely to bin anything time consuming or complicated, and will simply move on.

So, help yourself by writing the press release in the style of the publication you are submitting to, and make it easy for your work to be shared – and share it!

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Keeping it in-house

While outsourcing press releases to PR agencies offers numerous benefits, there are also compelling reasons for keeping press release production in-house. Here are some of the advantages:

Deep Company Knowledge

  • An in-house team has intimate knowledge of the company’s operations, culture, and goals. This can lead to more authentic and accurate representations in press releases.

Cost Savings

  • By not contracting an external PR agency, companies might save on expenses. Over the long term, this could result in substantial cost reductions, especially if the company frequently issues press releases.

Quick Turnaround

  • In-house teams are often more agile and can produce and distribute press releases on short notice, especially in rapidly evolving situations.

Control Over Messaging

  • Keeping production in-house ensures that the company has full control over its messaging, tone, and content direction without the potential for external misinterpretation.

Integrated Communication

  • An in-house team can ensure that press releases are consistent with other communication strategies and initiatives, resulting in a more cohesive brand message across all channels.

Relationship Building

  • Having an in-house PR team allows for the cultivation of direct relationships with journalists and media outlets, which can be valuable for future collaborations.

Confidentiality

  • Handling sensitive or confidential information can be riskier when shared with external parties. Keeping press release production in-house can minimize potential leaks or misunderstandings.

Flexibility

  • In-house teams can be more adaptable to changes in strategy, priorities, or company direction, allowing for real-time adjustments in press release content and distribution.

Immediate Feedback Loop

  • With an in-house team, feedback on drafts or revisions can be obtained quickly from relevant departments or decision-makers, ensuring timely release.

Skill Development

  • By producing press releases in-house, companies can invest in training and upskilling their staff, leading to a more competent and multifaceted internal PR team.

Holistic Brand Understanding

  • In-house teams live and breathe the company brand daily. This deep connection can result in press releases that truly reflect the company’s identity and values.

Reduced Miscommunication

  • Working with an external agency can sometimes lead to communication gaps or misunderstandings. An in-house team, being closely aligned with company operations, can reduce such challenges.

Ownership and Accountability

  • When everything is managed internally, there’s a clear line of responsibility, ensuring that the team is fully accountable for the press release’s content, quality, and results.

While there are clear benefits to in-house press release production, the decision ultimately depends on a company’s specific needs, capabilities, and strategic goals. Some organizations may find a hybrid approach, utilizing both in-house resources and external agencies, to be most effective.

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Call-inn the experts

A good PR Agency that specialises in your field is money well spent. They have the experience and contacts to push your business forward.

Engaging a reputable PR (Public Relations) agency to manage press releases and other PR activities can offer numerous benefits to a company. Here are some compelling reasons why a company might consider hiring a good PR agency:

Expertise and Experience

  • PR agencies typically have seasoned professionals who have been in the industry for years. They understand the nuances of creating compelling narratives, identifying newsworthy angles, and crafting press releases that resonate with the target audience.

Media Relations

  • Established PR agencies have built strong relationships with journalists, editors, bloggers, and influencers across various media outlets. This network can significantly increase the chances of your press release being picked up and published.

Strategic Guidance

  • Beyond just writing and distributing press releases, PR agencies can provide strategic counsel on managing your company’s public image, handling crises, and navigating complex communication challenges.

Time and Resource Efficiency

  • Crafting, distributing, and following up on press releases can be time-consuming. An agency can manage this process, allowing your company’s team to focus on other core business activities.

Objective Perspective

  • An external PR agency can provide an unbiased view of your company’s news and achievements, helping to identify what is genuinely newsworthy and advising on the best approach to communicate it.

Targeted Distribution

  • PR agencies have access to media databases and tools that allow for targeted distribution of press releases to relevant media outlets, increasing the chances of coverage.

Measurement and Analytics

  • Many PR agencies offer analytics and measurement services, helping companies understand the reach and impact of their press releases. This data can be invaluable for refining future PR strategies.

Multimedia Capabilities

  • With the growing importance of multimedia content, some PR agencies can create videos, infographics, and other visual elements to accompany press releases, making them more engaging and shareable.

Crisis Management

  • In case of negative publicity or a crisis, PR agencies are equipped to quickly respond, manage the narrative, and mitigate potential damage to the company’s reputation.

Consistent Messaging

  • PR agencies ensure that all communications, including press releases, align with the company’s broader messaging and brand values, ensuring consistency across all platforms.

Integrated Communication Strategies

  • Many PR agencies offer integrated services, combining traditional PR with digital marketing, social media, and content creation. This integrated approach ensures a consistent and multi-faceted communication strategy.

Training and Workshops

  • Some PR agencies offer media training for company spokespersons, preparing them for interviews, press conferences, and other public appearances.

Industry Knowledge

  • Specialized PR agencies have in-depth knowledge of specific industries, allowing for a more tailored and informed approach to communication strategies.

Engaging a good PR agency can be an investment, but for many companies, the benefits in terms of enhanced public image, increased media coverage, and expert guidance make it a worthwhile consideration.