Can I Distribute A Press Release Myself?
Many new marketers know they need to start using press releases in order to spread the word about their business, but they have a lot of questions that hold them back from making the most of the opportunity. One of the main ones is whether or not they can distribute a press release themselves.
The short answer is yes -if they are prepared to put in the time and effort required. Otherwise, it might be worth considering using a press release distribution service to help get their press release where it needs to go.
Distributing the press release yourself: pros and cons
Distributing yourself will add a good deal of work to the process. Why? You need to research the correct media representatives for your niche or industry. This can be very time-consuming. However, it can also help you forge closer connections with top influencers in your area of expertise.
Spend a lot of time on news sites and blogs? Chances are, you’re already familiar with prominent journalists in your niche.
You need to think laser-focused rather than a scattershot approach. The last thing you want is to send your press release about fashion to a sports journalist unless it is about a unique new range of activewear.
If you are new to marketing in your niche, you will have to start from scratch. This can involve a good deal of research, but the results can be well worth it.
It can be very helpful to have your own database of media contacts for press releases, and also for media pitches.
Media pitches are story ideas you can send to a journalist to see if they are interested in publishing information about your company. Writing high-quality press release and pitches engages and attracts journalists to your company.
The professional approach
Each email you send out needs to be personalized. DO NOT write To Whom It May Concern or Hi There, but Dear NAME. They will take one look at it and delete it. DO NOT BCC (blind carbon copy) an entire list of journalists as you email the press release to yourself. Again, savvy journalists will see this and delete.
Be sure your subject line is compelling.
Consider using the headline of your press release as the subject line of the email. Your press release headline should always contain a keyword, a strong verb, and grab attention.
Distributing the press release through a service
There are free and paid press release distribution services, so it is really a question of how much time and how large budget marketers have when publishing press releases. For paid services, they can often even get a discount if they buy a certain number of release slots, such as 4 at a time.
Press release success depends on issuing them regularly, such as once a month. Marketers copy and paste their press releases into the distribution service interface. They can also upload media such as images, and sometimes video (or you can use an embed code). Check to see that everything looks perfect, and then publish.
Tracking your results
If you submit yourself, you will have to track your results. This usually means waiting for an email or phone call from the journalist telling you that they are running with your press release. But in case they don’t contact you, it might also mean you have to keep an eye out to see if the journalists you have sent the press releases to give you a media pickup.
With a press release distribution service, you will get reports that will show you what pickups you get from which publications. This can help you determine more easily your return on investment (ROI) from your press releases.