PR Distribution is done a few different ways, some are much like traditional Newswire methods, while other are much like online press releases. Businesswire is one example, a very popular way of distributing your PR. Some service providers who specialize in PR Distribution offer the service for free, however you will find that the cost can really add up if you don’t have a plan in place. Other services charge a fee for PR Distribution. I will try to explain some of the most common ways of PR Distribution so you can get a better understanding of what I’m talking about.
Many times when contacting a service to handle your PR, they will offer to contact several different news organizations to publish your release. For small businesses this is an effective way to get your PR out, since you only need to send one message and it gets sent out to a lot of people. Smaller PR distributions should be sent out only to those who may be interested, such as industry magazines or local newspapers. When using a PR distribution service, you should request that your release is sent to a list that you control, either a list specifically for small businesses or any other list that may be generated for your product or service. Most services allow you to select the distribution list on the website.
Most Newswire services do not offer industry-specific distribution. They usually just send out the general version of your release. This is fine for small businesses since they may not need to focus on any specific industry. In some cases, it would be best to have an industry-specific distribution. Some news outlets will take requests from small businesses directly, while others still work with PR companies who specialize in a single industry.
Some media outlets that accept distribution requests include: radio stations, television stations, newspapers, magazines, and online news outlets such as ProBlogger and MySpaceTV. The best way to get your PR in front of these types of sites is by sending a news release with a link back to your website in the biography portion of the release. Some of these websites, such as MySpaceTV, have an actual application that allows businesses to place a television spot or commercial on their airtime, something that can greatly benefit small businesses. Since these websites are generally free to use, most businesses would be able to make the monetary investment required to run these spots.
Some Newswire services allow the distribution of an emailed press release, allowing news outlets to receive and forward the release on their own. If you have extra features such as photos, videos, or customer testimonials, you may want to consider putting these into the release so that you can use them to drive traffic to your site. If you include any photos or videos in the release, make sure they are labeled with your website URL. Otherwise, your press release will become unnecessarily dull and your intended target audience will not take the time to check out the additional information.
Many news outlets offer analytics reporting that allows journalists to see who is reading and subscribing to their releases. This analytics data can also be extremely helpful when planning future releases. Many times journalists are tasked with writing a series of stories and then submitting them for publication. If the paper knows which neighborhoods are seeing a spike in subscriptions, it can tailor future releases to fit the community, driving more traffic to the website. Using PR distribution as part of a strategic marketing plan can benefit your business and increase the number of people who visit your website.