Getting the attention of the media can work wonders for your small business, if you know what to do. And while you know press releases are one way to get the media’s attention, you might not be sure how to get your release in the right hands. Never fear, friends. I’m here to help.
# 1. Online distribution
The easiest method to get your release out there is through online press release distribution sites. PR Newswire in the UK and PRWeb in the US are two examples. What these sites do is take your press release and send them to dozens of news and niche websites who have signed up to publish news in a given category. So if your press release covers your software launch, it would be distributed on technology websites, as well as general news channels like Yahoo or Google.
The benefit to online distribution is primarily
Keep in mind, online distribution will cost you, but it’s well worth the $200 or so to get the kind of
Note: Many people think that journalists will read these releases online and write a story about them. While this has been known to happen, it’s not that common, and there are better ways to reach journalists.
# 2. Pitch journalists
A better way to reach those journalists who cover your industry is to email them directly with your news. You’ll need to start building relationships with the media far before you want to pitch them. Do a little research and make a list of several key journalists who write about your field, both locally — because you’ll have a better chance of getting coverage — and nationally. Follow them on Twitter. Share their content. Comment on their articles.
Then when you want to pitch them, send a well-written, customized email. Mention an article of theirs that you really enjoyed reading. Explain why her readers will care about your news. Provide three bullet points as to what your news entails, and leave the details to be covered in subsequent emails, if she’s interested.
If you don’t hear back, wait a week and follow up.
Note: Never attach your press release to an email. People don’t like getting attachments from people they don’t know. Instead, include a hyperlink to your online press release.
# 3. Pitch bloggers
Bloggers are similar to journalists in that they can help you get the word out about your news to their audiences. But they’re more fun to work with in many ways! For one, bloggers rarely publish a press release verbatim. They’re more likely to ask to try your product or engage with you on a deeper level. They want to get to know your brand so that they can confidently endorse you to their audience. Find creative ways to work with bloggers. Consider offering a few products to give away to their readers, or create a fun campaign that ties in with your news.
Note: Never, ever pitch a blogger without first reading her site. First, it will tell you whether she welcomes PR pitches or not, and second, you’ll find out if your news is really a good fit for her audience.
It’s worth the effort to try all three methods of distribution to get as far a reach as possible with your press release. Use Google Analytics to track what sites sent the most traffic to yours, and use this information to tweak your future PR efforts.
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