How to distribute your press release

Posted: Monday November 30 2020

By: Katie Mallinson

How to distribute your press release

Why it matters how you distribute your press release

Picture the scene — you’ve laboured over the perfect phrases, included gem-like quotes from relevant spokespeople, peppered in industry insights, and finally received the client’s seal of approval on your next press release… what’s next?

Hope for the best?

It’s been speculated that the majority of press releases sent to journalists are either deleted or ignored. But, even if they make it through to the ‘open’ phase, a reporter will often judge whether a story is right for them within the first few line or two.

It’s important to remember that most writers will receive hundreds – if not thousands – of editorial submissions a day, so it’s vital that your piece falls into the right inbox, and carries enough clout, to maximise your chances of publication.

Coming up with a story to interest their readers is a solid start, but the key is building a strong database of contacts from various publications to improve the odds of them using your story.
Pitch to journalists with an interest

Once you’ve crafted your perfect press release, it’s time to be specific about the people you distribute to — it’s about quality not quantity. After all your hard work, you should maximise your chance of seeing it in print by spending time targeting those likely to run it.

Try searching for journalists who’ve written about similar topics or industries in the past, so you know there’s already a demand there.

Get the contact details

To make sure your message hits the mark, avoid using generic admin email addresses like ‘news@…’ or ‘editorial@…’where possible. If you manage to track down the right author on Twitter or LinkedIn, they will usually include their contact information in their bio.
Failing that, a quick Google search will usually do the trick — simply enter the journalist’s full name and their typical publication.

Writing a killer ‘sell in’

When drafting an email to your target audience, keep it short and snappy. Try not to waffle with a drawn-out introduction — get to the juicy pitch before you lose their attention. Of course, it’s okay to sprinkle in some personality but don’t go overboard.

Include important figures and statistics early on to prove your press release has some real substance – and therefore mileage – for the publication.

Pick your moment

Before hitting ‘send’, take a second to consider the best time to issue a story. Believe it or not, some days have higher success rates than others – trying to land a broadcast interview at the same time a show is on air is not a good tactic.
Many journalists are open about the fact that they prefer receiving press releases mid-morning, so sticking to this timeframe may help to secure you a spot in tomorrow’s print edition! Mid-week distribution is often preferable as opposed Mondays and Fridays which tend to be a little more manic in the newsroom.

Follow up

If you don’t receive the coverage you were hoping for on the first try, there’s no harm in trying again, perhaps with a different angle. While you should avoid spamming the journalist’s inbox with the same press release over and over again, sometimes your story could’ve simply been missed the first time, so a friendly check-in can go a long way to seeing your words in print.

We hope we’ve provided some useful tips for securing that all-important coverage. If you need a little extra help, get in touch with the Scriba team today to find out how we can assist you.

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# How to distribute your press release