Monday, April 23, 2012

Determining press release distribution

So let's say that you have written a press release or media advisory and know the reporters or media outlets that you want to reach. What is the best way to send them the material? Well, it depends.

TV Anchor Peter Jennings
If you work for, or your client is, a publicly-held company, then the press release should go out on a wire service such as Business Wire or PR Newswire to satisfy disclosure requirements. I have generally found, though, that reporters are not able to capture all of the information that goes out on the wires and might not see your news.

Therefore, it helps to supplement the wire distribution with direct reporter contact. This involves sending the material to the reporter in whatever way he or she chooses to receive it (e-mail, fax, mail). Those preferences for receiving information can be found in a media database such as Cision or Vocus. Another powerful feature of media databases is the ability to send individual e-mails to contacts in a media list. Otherwise, you can just use your regular e-mail program to reach out to reporters.

Given that reporters have busy schedules, it also helps to follow up your press release distribution with a phone call. This call should be a brief, 30-second pitch about why the story would be of interest to the media outlet's readers or viewers.

Good luck with your media pitching!
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