So You Have a Press Release, Now What?

buyersguideLast week, a fellow PR practitioner shared a frustrating situation he was in with a low-cost press release distribution service. It triggered a lot of feedback from our peers and I immediately knew this would make great subject matter for a blog post.

I’ve been distributing press releases for two decades and have used a variety of different services during that time. But given the warp speed at which news travels and new distribution channels and outlets are being introduced, it seems nearly impossible to keep up with all the available services, let alone the distinctions between them. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to navigate the new offerings and provide clients with a clear set of recommendations about the value of each service.

So, I got to thinking it was time to review the current landscape and determine if I’m missing out on anything.

No sooner did I decide to write about this when I received an email from the Bulldog Reporter. I’m pretty sure they have a “mind-reading” app installed on my computer because they were distributing a link to their 2013 Press Release Distribution Buyers Guide. Talk about timing! It  certainly worth the read.

If you’re responsible for news distribution for your company or clients, download the free guide and check it out. It will save you a lot of time analyzing services for yourself, and it will answer questions you may have regarding specific service offerings.

Highlights include:

  • A solid explanation of the difference between a Web service and a wire service
  • Reminders that all services are not created equal – and typically – you get what you pay for
  • A side-by-side comparison of all features and services offered by each company

Admittedly, the guide did not include a lot of groundbreaking information, but rather provided a simple, digestible look at the tools we have at our fingertips as PR practitioners and a reminder that those tools are always changing!

One tidbit from the authors needs a plug – as it is spot on. “The best SEO, most sophisticated analytics and widest distribution will never replace the heart of a successful press release. That heart remains, as always, knowing your target audience, having a good story and telling it well.” Amen to that!

One last word…..a press release distribution service, no matter how good it is, should never be expected to generate news coverage on its own. It is just one tool we have to help us achieve that goal. In my opinion, nothing can replace one-on-one interaction with media through personal pitching. Many of us spend hours, weeks and years developing contacts with whom we provide sources, stories and recommendations. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. But I’m happy that I still think it’s fun (and worthwhile) to try!

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