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12 Unbreakable Rules for Press Release Distribution Success

Press releases have been a staple of public relations for decades. But press releases can be so much more than just a tool for garnering media coverage. When optimized and distributed properly, press releases can drive traffic, boost branding, and increase credibility.

However, achieving the best results requires following some key best practices. Here are 12 unbreakable rules for obtaining maximum publicity from issuing press releases.

Know How to Write a Press Release

The foundation of an effective press release is the writing itself. Press releases follow a particular journalistic style and format that takes practice to master.

If you’re new to issuing press releases, consider hiring a professional writer or agency. An experienced press release writer knows how to craft compelling headlines, structure content for readability, and adhere to AP style guidelines. This expertise can mean the difference between a release that gets ignored and one that captures attention.

Some key elements of proper press release writing include:

  • Clear, concise language using the inverted pyramid structure
  • Quotes from company executives or subject matter experts
  • Hyperlinked company name and location
  • Boilerplate company background paragraph
  • Contact information for follow-up inquiries

Taking the time to learn press release writing best practices or partnering with a skilled writer sets your publicity efforts up for success.

Know Your Audience

Understanding your target audience is vital for any content marketing initiative, and press releases are no exception.

Before drafting your release, research your ideal customers and readers. Gather demographic details like age range, gender, location, education level, and interests. Understanding these psychographics will allow you to craft messaging and choose media outlets likely to resonate with your audience.

For example, a release targeting tech-savvy millennials would use different language, angles, and distribution channels than one geared toward baby boomers. Keep your audience top of mind throughout the press release writing process.

Understand Targeting

Selecting the right media targets is crucial when distributing your press release. Sending a release to irrelevant or low-authority outlets is unlikely to generate pickup.

Thoroughly research industry-specific news publications, high-traffic websites, major metropolitan newspapers, and prominent trade journals that would appeal to your audience. Many press release distribution services allow you to target media by location, circulation size, subject matter, and more.

Take time to carefully select media outlets where your content will resonate. Targeted distribution to relevant publishers will improve visibility and increase potential for coverage.

Craft a Punchy Headline

Your press release headline is one of the most critical elements. A boring, generic headline will likely get passed over, while an intriguing, attention-grabbing one can entice journalists and readers to continue reading.

Study viral headlines from major media outlets to understand what piques interest. Experiment with humor, shock value, clever wordplay, and curiosity-gap headlines that tease the full story.

Also, optimize your headline for SEO by incorporating your primary keyword near the beginning. A headline that’s punchy, emotional, and SEO-optimized will achieve maximum impact.

Abide by the Editing Process

Once you distribute your press release, it will go through an intensive editing process by the outlet’s staff. Editors scrutinize releases for proper AP style, grammar, spelling, and formatting.

Be prepared to make revisions if required. Editors receive hundreds of releases daily, so resisting changes will likely result in rejection.

Adhering to their high editorial standards, while still expressing your key messages, takes finesse. Work cooperatively with editors so your release meets publication requirements.

Collaborate for Success

While one person can certainly write an effective press release, collaborating with others brings immense value.

Gather input from team members in marketing, PR, product development, and leadership. Multiple perspectives allow you to strengthen messaging, insert the most impactful quotes, and heighten appeal for your target audiences.

Collaborating with another brand or influencer is another powerful press release tactic. Joint releases lend third-party credibility and allow each brand to promote the content across their own channels.

Cross-Promote for Added Visibility

While press releases are distributed to media outlets, you shouldn’t rely on publishers alone to spread the word. Develop a cross-promotion strategy to maximize visibility.

First, actively share the release on your own website and social media channels. Provide links to pick-up articles when major outlets feature your release.

Next, determine if any brand partners would be willing to co-promote the release. The right strategic alliance could expand your reach tremendously.

Cross-promotion lends credibility through association with respected brands. It also expands media and audience exposure through additional distribution channels.

Use Quality Press Release Distribution Channels

Choosing the right press release distribution services is imperative. Cheap wire services often provide disappointing results and reach. On the other hand, top-tier services can be pricey.

Research options like Business Wire, PR Newswire, and PRWeb to compare distribution networks, monitoring tools, and pricing. Assess capabilities for targeting media, boosting social sharing, and generating multimedia versions of releases.

Quality distribution amplifies visibility and outreach. Look for services that actively build relationships with journalists, unlike automated solutions. The right distribution partner gets releases into the hands of key media contacts.

Syndicate Your Press Release

Merely distributing your press release is not enough. To maximize exposure, you need to actively syndicate your press release it yourself on social media.

Share the release link, along with any resulting media pick-up, on channels like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Look for opportunities to tag relevant journalists, influencers, and brands to broaden visibility.

Tools like Pitchbox allow you to quickly syndicate releases to multiple platforms. Social syndication extends your reach beyond just the media outlets distribution services pitch to.

Gain Social Traction

Modern press releases must incorporate social media for maximum impact. Services like PitchEngine simplify social sharing, monitoring, and amplification.

PitchEngine submits your release to major social networks and tracks engagement metrics. You can repost top-performing content and respond to commentary.

Social traction lends credibility while driving traffic. Set up Google Alerts for your company name and press release headline to monitor pick-up. Use social listening tools like Mention to track online conversations generated.

Repost Strategically

Resist the urge to simply repost your press release verbatim on your own website. Search engines will penalize you for duplicate content.

Instead, create a blog post that summarizes the news, then links to your full release on the distribution service site. Quote key sections to provide context.

This technique establishes your company as an authority on the subject while also boosting visibility and backlinks. Just ensure your blog content includes unique commentary and value for visitors.

Enhance your Press Release with Multimedia

While text-based releases remain standard, adding multimedia elements can boost engagement. Include images, infographics, embedded video content, or audio files.

Multimedia not only makes your release more interactive, but also provides assets for social sharing. Eye-catching visuals lend color to an otherwise black-and-white page.

Many top distribution platforms provide multimedia capabilities, either included or for an additional fee. The impact is well worth the investment.


Remember, press releases are not just a vehicle for garnering media coverage. They offer an opportunity to strengthen your brand, connect with audiences, and position your company as an industry leader. Approach press releases with creativity and promotion in mind, and your efforts will reap rewards.

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