There are a lot of things that you need to prepare before launching your press release distribution. The more time you allot for preparation, the more successful it can become.
You don’t need to be in a hurry. You need to give it a time, gather resources, learn how to properly pitch and distribute releases.
The most important thing is you need to know that you don’t have to do it alone. Organize a content and marketing team who can assist you in launching your campaign.
Here are 9 powerful tactics that can help you to set your distribution for success:
Set your goal.
In every press release, you need to set a certain goal. For instance, your content for this month is set to increase your site traffic.
How many visitors to your site are you expecting? You need to set a traffic goal. If you are not going to do it, how would you measure the success of your campaign?
Your goal is reflected in your call-to-action (CTA). If you want to promote traffic to your site, create a clear CTA that invite readers to visit your website. Surely, they want to learn more about your business, and how they can possibly engage with your brand.
Setting goals is necessary when you begin planning. It’s a tactic that increases your chance to hit your target of boosting your site traffic.
Whatever your goal is, make sure that it is precise and measurable. Having a vague and generalized goal is impossible to attain and measure.
Know your target press and publications.
It seems impossible to succeed in distributing releases if you are pitching to the wrong reporters and media outlets. Before hitting the “send” button, identify relevant reporters and publications.
The last thing that you don’t want to happen is send your technology story to a fashion reporter or editor. It would be a big waste of time and effort if you do this because it would just be placed on the spam folder or just ignored.
Part of your task in distribution is to identify significant reporters who are most likely to give you a press coverage. They are the ones, who cover your niche, and are interested in the story you are pitching.
Research is part of the long haul. You need to find information. Use several resources online like databases that collect reporters, editors, media publications and influencers information.
Plan your editorial calendar.
At the end or at the start of the following year, you need to set your editorial calendar. Look at the activities happening in your company. Is your 20th company anniversary coming?
Is there a planned reach out to the less fortunate, sponsorship of medical mission, conferences, seminars, product launching, collaboration or acquiring a new location? Consider all these activities happening in your company.
Keep in mind that not all of your activities warrant a release. Issue a release only for newsworthy events. An editorial calendar links the marketing and content marketing strategy, so ensure that you don’t miss anything.
Identify paid and free press release distribution services.
Aside from pitching reporters, you can hire newswire to help distribute your releases to their network of reporters, online sites, media outlets and other locations. They help businesses distribute their content far and wide.
Since they have a network of established connections, you don’t have to worry who to pitch. Your news will be syndicated on different sites and reaches reporters and influencers.
There are two types of distribution companies: paid and free sites. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Make sure that you know what company you’ll be targeting that will help you reach your goals.
Paid services offer different packages, where companies can choose from. Each package includes different features and reach. Choose the package that fits your needs and budget.
Free newswire services have a bad reputation that it not really syndicating releases on relevant sites, but only on their sites. Since it is free, it doesn’t provide features that are important for your business.
Create a media list.
A media list is necessary for you to reach relevant reporters and publications. The list includes an updated list of reporters, influencers and media outlets that you may pitch your story.
Cold pitching is a no-no in public relations. Creating a list helps you collect information about your target media that could help you in personalizing a pitch.
There are a lot of online tools that you can use to gather the information. Online databases like Cision, Meltwater Buzz and Buzzsumo are tools to find the media, influencers and publications.
Make sure to update your list on regular basis. You don’t want to commit a mistake of pitching a story to someone who is no longer in the same beat.
The list should be detailed as much as possible. Include links to their work as you can use them as your reference in customizing your pitch.
Before writing and pitching your pitch, it is a must that you have reached out and established connections with your target press and publications. It is easier for reporters to acknowledge you and give you publicity if they know you.
One of the popular ways to build relationships is connecting with them on the social media. You have to track the social media site that they are most active in.
Start liking and commenting to their posts. Share it on your profile or retweet it. Tag them to increase traction.
Drop a quick introduction. Don’t be too pushy. Offer your brand assets and resources.
Your connection shouldn’t be limited only on social media platforms. If there is a chance to meet them invite them during your events. You can also invite them for a coffee and have a casual talk.
Always remember not to get too demanding. Don’t mention anything about your campaign. Be helpful. Offer to help them to make their work easier.
Plan your CTA.
After identifying the goal that you want to reach, make sure that it is tied up to your call-to-action. Having no CTA would lead to a flat release. Your target customers are not going to take an action.
Onceyou have hooked your readers into your story, leverage it. Don’t miss the chance to hook them more by inspiring them to take an action that would help in achieving your goal.
For instance, if your release is about a new product, provide a link that leads to your site. If you are just going to provide a link, without telling them to click it, they would not probably click it.
Your CTA goes to waste. When this happens, it is impossible for you to reach your goal.
Follow these tips to create an effective CTA:
- Include only one CTA. Do not confuse the readers. For example: Sign up for more product updates, sign up for newsletter, click the link to get more information.
- Provide a sense of urgency. It’s not enough that you just want them to take an action. You should compel them to do the action now, not later. Include words like “limited time,” “now” and “today.”
- Talk to your readers directly. Use active voice. Talk to them as if you are telling them to do something.
- Plan a way to measure your success.
When launching your distribution, you need to know how you can measure its success. Without measuring your campaign, it’s like wasting resources for something that you don’t know if you’re going to earn or not.
Literally, it would be like a waste of resources, time and money. Organize a team in charge of monitoring mentions, press coverage, visits and more.
You want to be specific as much as possible. Luckily, there are a lot of online tools that you can use to measure the success of your campaign. Consider the following parameters: number of online pickups, traffic data, your rank on the search engines, number of media coverage and number of indexed pickup.
Before hiring a press release distribution service, make sure that you know how they are going to track your success. Since there are number of newswires that you may choose from, pick the one that can track the metrics important for your campaign.
If they can’t provide you this, consider other options. There are a lot of choices in the market. Work with a company that can track the important parameters. They should provide you a report on a regular basis.
- Choose relevant and newsworthy topics.
You cannot just pitch any story that you think is interesting for you. Before thinking how excited you are to share an important news about your business, ensure that it provides something that will benefit the audience.
There are a lot of newsworthy reasons to issue a release. Consider how you are going to write a story that would interest the audience. Answer, “Why they should care?”
Your audience should find a reason why they should spend time reading your release. Are you providing a new information, experience or are you offering a solution to a problem?
Always put yourself in the shoes of the readers. Keep in mind that journalists aren’t going to give you publicity if you are too focused about your brand. Avoid self-promotion.
Remember these tactics before distributing your release. It helps you to have a winning strategy and a positive outcome. And please make sure your website run smoothly minimum downtime (according to The Hosting Institute).