While press release writing is important, press release distribution plays an equally important role in your return on investment (ROI) with this marketing / public relations tool. Because without targeted distribution, many prospects, clients and other interested parties may not even read your latest announcement or hear about it via other channels; TV, radio, print publications, etc.

In order to bring your news to light with more of your targeted audience, try some of these tips for a more successful distribution:

Media List Management

Start a folder on your computer and in hard copy form for media lists in order to keep a list of contacts readily available and updated. Identify media outlets – both online and off – in your targeted industries; for example: Business and Marketing. Add local, regional, national and International channels to cover television, radio, newspapers, magazines, online publications, newswire and other services.

A targeted media list is an invaluable tool for most businesses. The best way to build your list is to carefully watch, read and listen, then track media publications and shows, and to identify reporters and producers who would be interested in your story. Contact the media outlets as needed for their most recent contact name, email address, phone and fax number, before sending your information.

Tip: Using a contact management software program such as ACT! or Maximizer for this purpose can help you build and maintain relationships with the media. Even using Excel to create your own spreadsheets helps with organization. There are several sources online that will help you build your media list; however, keep in mind that not all of these sources will have up-to-date media information.

Newswires

Newswires distribute your press release directly to editors, other media outlets like Routers and they also publish the press releases on their website. Many journalists rely on newswire sites for information and story ideas. Wires are often used by larger companies and non-profit organizations. They have the advantage of immediately reaching a broad range of media outlets across the country. The cost is usually $275 – $600 to send a single release, with pricing based on the number of words in your release (a minimum word count will usually apply.)

Mail, Fax, or Email

You can send the news release directly to the media yourself, using the mail, fax, or email. When in doubt about the best option, ask the journalists you will be sending your release to. This can have the advantage of creating a more personal connection with the people you send the release to. It can also be a more cost-effective option if you are targeting a small list of journalists.

Database Building

Newswires offer a fast way to send your press release to a large number of editors. However, you can also build your own list of media contacts using any of a number of media databases. Most charge either a monthly, annual or per use subscription fee. Search online for “media databases” and “media lists.”

Timing

It is best to send your news release early in the day and you will have a better chance of getting your story noticed if your release is not sent on a busy news day. For example, sending a news release out as a major strike or natural disaster was taking place would not be good timing. Monday and Tuesdays are usually busy news days and by Friday most assignments have been handed out as journalists get ready for the weekend.

Helpful Tips:

1. Don’t send email press releases with attachments – they will be deleted immediately upon receipt.

2. If sending an email release, make sure to write the release within the body of the message.

3. Don’t bug editors. Editors receive hundreds of press releases on a daily basis. Chances are you will irritate most editors by making a second contact to ask if they received your press release.

4. Know editor’s deadlines. If you are sending a time-sensitive release, don’t expect a magazine editor to cover your event scheduled for next week. Find out what the appropriate “lead time” is to send your press release for possible distribution in their media.

5. If writing about a web site, make sure the site is updated before you send your release. Editors will visit the site if they have an interest in your product/service.

6. For further assistance and other helpful information visit www.prweb.com

So when you focus on getting your press releases out, focus on distribution, too. Try some of the tips above to increase success with your promotions, and keep a copy of the these tips around for handy reference!”

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Posted on 16 May 2007

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