Choose The Right Journalists & Publications To Distribute Press Releases
1. Get your story in front of real journalists.
Your press release isn’t going to do anything for you unless you can get it in front of people who will cover it. That’s why we recommend Munadi, which can distribute your release via the Associated Press and PR Newswire networks, as well as their own network of sites.
We have the lowest cost way to distribute press releases, which is the best choice for small business owners. Click here to get 15 days free trial and get your press release in front of real journalists.
2. Know where to find journalists’ contact information.
If you’ve identified the section and the publication you want to pitch your story to, and are just missing the correct journalist contact information, make sure you know where to find it.
To begin with, you can use the media list provided by Munadi at free of cost. Which allows you to look up a few free contacts.
3. Personalize your pitch by mentioning similar articles the reporter has covered.
There is simply no substitute for cultivating a list of reporters and bloggers who specialize in your field and writing them individually with your press release. Even better – include a mention of a recent article they wrote that was on the same topic as your press release.
4. Don’t email blast your press release.
I’ve seen many competent business people use a tactic for distributing their releases that actually makes it less likely for them to get coverage: email blast.
Small business owners mistakenly believe that sending their press release to the greatest number of people possible—journalists and non-journalists alike—is the best way to increase the likelihood that they will get “picked up” by the media.
To be more effective, small business owners should try sending their press releases via MUNADI to a few dozen journalists who have recently covered similar stories in their local paper or in a trade magazine. They should send the release at least a few weeks in advance of whatever is described in the release (for instance, a new product, service or an event) actually happens.
5. Don’t forget to use spell check!
Distribution is important, but having a real news story and a well written release is even more important. Your release shouldn’t be a sales pitch, and it should be free of spelling and grammar mistakes. If it is poorly written and lacks news value, it won’t matter who you send it to because it will go straight to the trash bin.
6. A catchy subject line makes all the difference.
I have had success in gaining press release coverage by coming up with the right angle or “hook” to ignite the interest of the media – starting with the title. Tying something into a news making headline, holiday theme, or other topic of interest has always been a plus. I then tailor-make media lists by hand selecting categories, and personalizing which editor, producer, or other booking contact is the appropriate fit.
A good tip is to make sure that the subject line has something interesting to say, so that the editor, journalist or media person will want to open it. Another smart idea is to add a well-written paragraph to your email to ensure that it gets read. Afterwards, I spend ample time conducting media relations follow-up calls.
7. Pitch a story, not a press release.
For starters, you’ll have the most success if you pitch a story, not a press release. When you’re pitching media, you’re pitching real people, who have writing interests, beats and topics they like to cover. So while your press release should provide all the details about your announcement, your “pitch” should be tailored to the reporter and explain how your story meets their interests.
Monitor and start following the writers you think are a fit for you and you’ll get a sense of not only what they cover, but who they are – and that’s important. Writers want to know that you actually follow them and enjoy their journalism. Tweet them a story that has a connection with your business. Sometimes, they’ll tweet about a story they’re working on and that they are looking for a source (we’ve had a lot of success with this). Respond to them if it’s relevant to your business or expertise.
8. Mind your manners and make friends with journalists.
If a journalist has expressed interest in your pitch and asks for some follow-up information, or perhaps, requests an interview with your key contact, give that person what they want — and more. Be obsequious. Offer to go the extra mile for them by making their lives easier. The easier you make their lives, the happier the journalist. A happy journalist is more likely to write about the topic you’re pitching.
Try to befriend your journalists once you’ve made a “connection.” If they live in your area, invite them to coffee or lunch. Get to know the types of stories they like to cover and tailor your pitches to their story preferences.
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