In this age of the internet and modern technology, things no longer work like they used to. The internet has changed the way we handle everything. In PR, things have certainly changed. Before, only the biggest and most prominent companies can afford to get their stories on the newswire. Nowadays, thanks to the internet, small businesses can have access to press release distribution services as well as some other marketing strategies to help grow their business. But how does modern PR distribution work, exactly? Let’s find out.
What is a press release?
A press release is a brief piece of content that contains relevant information about a business. This information is anything that is news-worthy. Be it a new product or service, company event, or a store opening. A press release is typically tied to a business or organization. Press releases are written so they can be distributed to the media through a variety of means.
What are press releases for?
These days, the line between “news” and “press release” has become blurred. Thanks to the internet, a press release can work the same as news, since it’s automatically published online. However, the fundamentals are still the same. The primary purpose of a press release is to promote a specific and significant event regarding a business. There are a couple of main marketing and professional uses for a press release:
To inform the media of an event in the hopes that the press will pass the message along to a broader audience.
To inform the media of your business and your products in the hopes that they will write and publish a news story about it.
To give your business visibility in a variety of platforms including online.
How is a press release distributed?
Once a press release is written, the goal is to distribute it to the appropriate journalists or influencers. There are three ways in which you can do this:
1. Through Online Distribution
The most effective way to distribute a press release is through the internet. Why? We’ll give you a little bit of perspective. As of 2017, 51% of the world’s population has access to the internet. That’s billions of people roaming online, digesting content - content that could come from you and could lead to your business. Distributing your press release online is also typically a very easy and straightforward process. There are so many digital marketing and best press release distribution services for 2018 that accept press release submissions for free or for reasonable prices.
Your online PR distribution depends on the kind of service you will avail. Paid services work the best as more effort is made to increase the chances for your release to get picked up. However, some free distribution can also deliver standard results. These sites generally take your press release and send it to a variety of news and niche websites.
But the most significant benefit of online distribution is not actually media pick-up, but SEO. Google and other search engines change their algorithm regularly. But one thing doesn’t change, if your site gains some substantial traffic, your search index ranking can increase. A press release is an excellent way to drive organic traffic to your site. You just have to make sure that your release is newsworthy and relevant.
2. Direct Pitch to Journalists
Directly reaching journalists is not as easy as online press release distribution. However, if it’s your primary goal to have your release published in the media, it’s the best way to go. First, you need to know which journalists you want to reach. They should be individuals who cover the news in your niche. Then you can proceed by emailing them your press release. Keep in mind that these journalists receive dozens, if not hundreds of press release every day. Aside from having an excellent copy, you should consider aiming for more and try to build relationships with them. By doing so, you have higher chances of success, and you can build a longterm relationship with them that can benefit all of your future press releases.
PRO TIP: Instead of sending your pitch as an attachment, try sending it through a hyperlink instead. If you don’t hear back from the journalist after a week, you can always follow-up once or twice.
3. Direct Pitch to Bloggers
Pitching your copy to bloggers is mostly the same process as reaching journalists. However, bloggers are an entirely different species, which means you need to approach them in an entirely different way. Bloggers are more relaxed and not bound to constraints and rules that journalists have. They are more likely to engage with you, ask questions, and get to know you and your business more. Be creative when approaching bloggers. Like journalists, the best way is to try and to build relationships with them. Personalize your email pitch. You can even offer them your products or a free trial of your service.