Whether you’ve written and submitted a press release before, or if it’s your first time doing it, there is a process that needs to be followed when it comes to submitting a press release. In this article, we’ll be explaining what a press release is, why they’re important and how to distribute one effectively.
A press release should be looked at as a statement that’s delivered to the media for the sole purpose of providing information or making an important announcement that benefits the public. A press release is often considered to be the primary source of news stories and latest announcements, whether it be the launch of a new product or service or something that your business has been doing for the community, like a charity run or bake sale, for example. Make a big deal of your achievements through a press release.
Believe it or not, there are actually several reasons why you should be submitting press releases to the media. If you’ve never done it before and you feel as though you’ve been doing just fine without submitting any, then you might not realise the importance of them. So let’s discuss why press releases are important.
Creating links between yourself and the media is a great way of exposing your business in other ways, aside from online. Not everyone uses the internet, but those who don’t use it might find your company in a physical publication or magazine. Bear this in mind when choosing a publication to send your press release to.
Do they publish their content both online and in a magazine or newspaper as well? Are they solely online or do they only publish articles in a physical entity? Think about targeting an audience who doesn’t use the internet as well as an audience that does.
If someone finds your press release in a legitimate, credible publication, then they’ll likely view your own business as credible and trustworthy, more so than if you didn’t appear in any publications or magazines at all. You have everything to gain from submitting a press and release and absolutely nothing to lose, especially if you’ve never submitted one before.
Much like how a website or link building articles will be great for SEO, so will a press release. Essentially, it’s an advertisement for your business, helping to generate more website traffic leads and sales. This is the sole purpose of SEO and the end goal of a lot of the marketing techniques that are used is to enable an increase in those exact things. So why wouldn’t you use a press release as an additional SEO tactic?
Much of the exposure we get is as a result of having a solid online presence. Where you might think that your website alone increases your customer engagement, then a press release will enhance this even further. If your press release is published in a relevant magazine or publication, then it’s highly-likely that it will catch the eye of prospective customers.
They might well become interested enough to search for you online, where they’ll come across your website and/or your socials. This, in turn, increases engagement and improves your chances of generating new leads and sales. Don’t underestimate the power of a good press release.
There are several different things that you’ll need to consider when it comes to distributing a press release, mainly because there’s a process and a few steps to follow in order to do it successfully. If you’ve never distributed a press release before, then we’ve broken down all of the steps for you to follow to make it as straightforward as possible.
If you’ve found a story that you believe is newsworthy then it’s only natural that you’re going to want to share it with as many people as possible. But the difficult part is finding someone who will find as much interest in it as you do. You will then need to go in search of journalists and publications that are relevant to your story. There’s no point sending a story about dogs to a magazine that publishes gardening editorials. Choose your journalists and publications wisely when you want to share your press release pitch, or even the press release itself.
You will need to get the contact details of the journalists you’re wanting to send your press release pitch to, of course. Without the contact details, you can’t do anything with your press release and it will never get published. You’ll be able to do this quite easily as many journalists will, at the very least, post their email address at the end of an article or publication. This is a great starting point to get the ball rolling.
You need to write a great pitch in order to grab the attention of the journalist you’re sending it to, along with a great subject line; something we’ll get onto in a moment. This is a really effective way of getting your point across and making sure you make an impression on the journalist you’re sending it to. Journalists will get thousands of pitches every single day, so make yours shine above the rest.
This is all part of making sure you stand out from the crowd. It might well be even more important than the actual pitch itself because this is what will entice a journalist to open your email in the first place. So how can you actually make sure that your subject line is irresistible to the journalist you’ve sent it to? Let’s take a look:
Now that you’ve got a great story and you’ve drafted your email, you might want to think more carefully before you hit “send”. Think about the timing in which you send your press release to them because it can be very easy for your email to get swamped and lost in and amongst all of the other emails they get sent regarding press releases.
It’s mostly trial and error, but if you’ve been doing it for a while then you’ll work out when the right and wrong times are. For example, don’t send it too close to Christmas or Easter, because there might not be many people in the office who are around to pick up your email. The time of day should also be something to consider.
First thing in the morning would be better than half way through the day because journalists will likely check their emails as soon as they log on. Alternatively you don’t want to send it too close to the end of the day, either, because the journalist might have gone home and it will subsequently get lost in the rest of the press release emails they get sent. Timing is key, so think about that before you send it.
The last step in the process, after sending it to the journalist, would be to wait a few days and then follow up on the email you’ve sent. Don’t be too eager, however. Give it a few days before asking about it again. Although, this will likely depend on the content creator you’re talking to. Some people don’t like to follow up on press release emails, whereas others do. Make your own call on it and do what you feel is right at the time. There are no rules to follow when it comes to following up on press releases, so don’t give into peer pressure, either way.
If you’ve never submitted a press release, or a press release pitch, before, then you’ll likely be unaware of a few mistakes that you should avoid throughout the process, from start to finish. Whilst only small, they can make all the difference when it comes to either getting your press release published or not. With that in mind, here are a few mistakes that you should avoid when it comes to distributing a press release:
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As an experienced Copywriter, Lorna enjoys creating varied content for an abundance of different industries and sectors. From detailed, informative articles to creative infographics, she's always looking to inject originality into the work she produces. When she isn't working, Lorna runs her own lifestyle blog, plays the guitar and loves to take part in charity runs.