Press releases remain one of the most effective tactics for scoring media coverage, increasing visibility, and amplifying your messaging. But simply writing a compelling release is not enough. You need an intelligent distribution strategy to ensure it reaches the right journalists, influencers and gets maximum pickup.
In this short guide, you’ll learn insider tips and strategies to optimize publishing and distribution for today’s evolving media landscape. Let’s dive in!
Press Release vs. News Release: What’s the Difference?
While often used interchangeably, press releases and news releases serve slightly different purposes:
- A press release announces something newsworthy happening with your company, like a product launch, executive hire, funding milestone, etc.
- A news release provides a pre-written article about a topic unrelated to your company, such as an industry report or event recap.
Both follow a similar format and get distributed via newswires or direct outreach. The focus on content is the key differentiator.
Where Should You Publish and Distribute Press Releases?
Choosing distribution channels depends on your goals and target audiences. Common options include:
Major wire services like PR Newswire, Business Wire, and PRWeb distribute to thousands of media contacts, websites, databases and social networks. Some offer industry or location targeting.
Local Media Lists
Compile targeted lists of local newspapers, magazines, TV stations, and radio shows and pitch them releases on community initiatives or regional expansion plans.
Industry Media Lists
Build lists of trade publications, niche websites, and reporters covering your specific industry. Pitch them releases relevant to topics they cover.
Your Own Media Properties
Post releases on your company website’s media/newsroom page. Share them across your social media channels. This adds visibility and surfaces content for media researching stories about your brand.
Proactively pitch releases to specific journalists by email. Include a short, personalized note highlighting the relevance to their beat and prior coverage.
Press Release Distribution Services Compared
Paid distribution platforms offer different features and targeting capabilities:
- PR Newswire – Robust industry, location and publication targeting. Multimedia distribution options.
- Business Wire – Continuous or one-time distribution. Media targeting dashboard.
- PRWeb – Budget-friendly packages. Add-on amplification tools.
- NewsByWire – Offers amazing value-for-money press release distribution.
8 Pro Tips for Maximum Press Release Impact
Apply these best practices to boost views, engagement and increase coverage:
- Optimize content for SEO with strategic keywords.
- Insert quotes from company leaders for credibility.
- Include links back to related assets and pages on your website.
- Publish releases on a newsroom page on your site for discoverability.
- Repurpose content into social posts, pitches and blog articles.
- Follow up personally with journalists who cover related topics.
- Monitor pick-up and engage with outlets sharing your release.
- Analyze results to refine future distribution and outreach.
Multimedia Content to Amplify Your Release
Compelling and shareable multimedia assets can boost engagement:
- Relevant press release photos and images
- Infographics conveying key data
- Videos showcasing products or culture
- Short GIFs ideal for social media
Provide varied image sizes and captions. Embed videos from YouTube or Vimeo.
Measuring Press Release Performance
Key metrics to track success include:
- Media placements and coverage secured
- Social shares, links and embeds
- Website traffic and engagement
- Leads and sales generated
Set benchmark goals pre-distribution. Continuously monitor analytics to identify high-value outlets and reallocate efforts accordingly.
Crucial Follow-Up for Maximum Impact
Following up with media post-distribution is vital but often overlooked. Tactics to try:
- Ask reporters if they received the release and resend it if needed.
- Offer to provide additional assets, images, and interviews.
- Pitch unique angles tied to their past coverage.
- Express appreciation for any mention.
Nurturing media relationships builds familiarity and trust, increasing future potential pick-up.
Common Press Release Mistakes to Avoid
Sidestep these missteps that can hinder coverage:
- Failing to clearly convey relevance and benefits in headlines and leads
- Not telling a compelling story or linking to newsworthy trends
- Overstuffing with unnecessary details dilutes the core message
- Excessive self-promotion or overt selling tone
- Typos, grammatical errors, incorrect formatting
Carefully proofread before distribution and ensure content provides unique value.
The Future of Press Release Distribution
As media consumption evolves, emerging best practices include:
- Optimizing for voice search with natural language
- Adding schema markup for improved SEO
- Producing releases as multimedia content packages
- Repurposing content into interactive formats like live blogs
While tactics may shift, the principles of timely, newsworthy content remain constant. Adaptability and relevance will continue fueling press release success.