Steps to Follow When Sending a Press Release
Sending a press release can seem like a hefty task. But if it is divided into several small steps, it can become straightforward. The first step, of course, is to write the press release. Once that part is done and dusted, the process to send a press release begins. Knowing how, when, and who to send a press release is an important step and must be followed to maximize the chances of delivering the press release to the right audience. Each step discussed in this blog is from the personal experience of sending a press release. They are likely to be successful in most scenarios.
Create a Strong Contact List to Send a Press Release
Knowing who to target should always be the first step of any press release marketing. Having the right people in the contact list provides the foundation for sending out a press release. A list should be created. Tools like Microsoft Excel can be used for the purpose of making this list of media contacts. It should contain the name of the person as well as the contact number and email address. A separate list should be created for online media coverage outlets such as blogs, influencers, and others. Another list should be made for traditional news outlets, such as TV channels and Newspapers.
You must be wondering how this contact list of journalists can be made. Well, that is not very difficult anymore. Almost every journalist or news organization has some contact information online. LinkedIn is a very good platform which consists of professional accounts for everyone. Through it, anyone can easily find the required contact information about any individual.
LinkedIn is the most professional platform for approaching a person. Almost every account contains genuine and authentic information about the person. Other than LinkedIn, other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be used to collect contact information about the relevant journalists and media personalities.
Building Relationships with Traditional News Outlets
Even though it may seem like no one reads the newspaper or watches TV anymore that is not the case. A lot of relevant journalists can be extracted from traditional news outlets. By doing a Google search, you can easily find the local newspaper publishers or television show producers. It must be thoroughly researched whether they publish news and press releases related to your field or not. If they do so, their contact details point must be extracted. But they should not be reached out directly.
There is always a person in their teams who is designated to pick up a story. You should approach that person and their number and email address should be added into your contact list. If a website does not have the required contact number, look up their profile on LinkedIn. There you can easily find the profile of the journalist and contact that person, pitch them your idea, and ask them for their contact information.
Non-Traditional News Sources
There are unlimited non-traditional news sources all around the world today. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many others can be used to spread the news within no time. The trend of influencers has completely changed the world of marketing. They have a huge audience. Their opinions and words matter. If a press release is sent to one of the influencers and gets picked up by them, the chances of the news getting far ahead are very high.
Facebook is the number one source to find all the details related to a journalist. There are multiple groups of a specific niche. These groups have relevant members in them. A person looking to send a press release can contact them by visiting their profile on Facebook.
Instagram is the home to all of the prominent social influencers. By searching for the right social media influencer who can give a shout out to your press release or share it on their page can boost the viewers in no time. Through Top Posts, you can easily identify the right influence for your business and get started in no time.
Twitter can also help with finding the contact information and relevant journalists to send your press release. Analyze the “who to follow” section. This will not only help with getting the best contacts but if they all follow you back, your relevant audience can increase as well.
Follow Submission Protocols for a Press Release
Now that you have shortlisted the relevant journalists, this is the next step:
Every organization/influencer/journalist provides a set of protocols that need to be followed in order to submit a press release. These protocols need to be followed. For example, if it is requested to submit the press release through a specific portal, it should be done so through it. It’s best to not ask too many questions regarding the submission process. Instead, a little research should be done by yourself and understand the procedure by yourself. If they have a specific word count, file type, multimedia that can be a part of the press release, it must be followed.
Almost every news outlet specifies whether the press release can have images, videos, and audio files in them. Even though most media outlets allow the press release to contain images, audio files and videos there are some who might have an objection to it. Therefore, when going over their protocols, these things must be checked as well.
Send the Press Release
This is the final step in sending out the press release. You can send it through the following methods:
- By emailing it to the point of contact with a proper subject line.
- Uploading it on the designated portal.
It must be ensured that when a press release is sent to the news outlet/influencer/blogger, guidelines and protocols are followed properly.
Take Regular Follow-Ups
Once you have sent out the press release to the relevant journalist or influencer or blogger, it is now time to follow up. A polite Email, call, or message (whichever method you utilized to contact them first) should be sent to the person in question. It is best to take a three-day gap before taking a follow up from them. Give them enough time to go over the press release and then approach them.
If you get a positive response from the journalist with the follow-up, ask them to arrange a separate meeting with you. But there is no need to badger them or come off as a desperate person.
If there is no response on a second follow up, it is best to do at least three more follow-ups before giving up on them completely. Each time, the message should be kept simple and precise. By constantly repeating the request over and over again, there is a chance that the point of contact will lose their interest in your work and will not want to interact with you at all.
Journalists are busy people. They are regularly bombarded with hundreds of press releases in a day. While sending out a press release this factor must be kept in mind. Pestering them with hundreds of follow-ups can make you look unprofessional and impatient. But this does not mean that you can let go of your press release completely. It is important to create a well-adjusted interaction of follow-ups. Strong communication is key to getting the attention of the right journalists and making your press release distribution successful. The steps are simple and if followed properly can maximize the reach of a press release in no time.
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