Getting Your Press Release Picked Up
Distributing a well written, newsworthy press release to the appropriate outlets can give your business a huge marketing boost.
There are a lot of ways to spread the word about your products and services. You could blog, send email newsletters and develop a strong social media presence. You could launch a direct mail campaign or call customers and prospects. Heck, you could even stand on a street corner and shout really loud.
Some approaches are better than others. (We strongly advise against street corner shouting.)
While not every marketing tool or platform will be right for your business, press releases are universally useful. From the smallest mom and pop shop to the biggest corporate conglomerate, positive coverage means a news outlet is marketing for you.
Imagine that. You have a message to share and someone else shares it.
However, news outlets are only going to share your content if the content is newsworthy.
What Makes Content Newsworthy?
Newsworthy content is content an audience wants. Whether you’re dealing with radio, newspapers or TV, news outlets need their audience to pay attention. That’s how they get folks to advertise and that’s how they make their money.
How Do You Get Your Press Release Noticed?
Beyond a well-written press release, you need to select the right news outlets for your business. At first glance, you might want your press release to be picked up by a big national publication. They have the biggest audience and the widest reach. This is true. But, big publications aren’t without their issues, including:
- Competition – The larger the outlet the more folks who will be vying for space. At a publication like the New York Times, your press release will often be competing against thousands of others that same day.
- Audience – Just because a big news outlet reaches a large audience doesn’t mean it’s your audience. If your target audience doesn’t’ spend their time watching KOMO News, getting a 30 second segment isn’t going to do you a lot of good.
Focus on identifying news outlets that are industry specific and local.
In the Seattle Area these might include:
- The Seattle Times
- The Seattle PI
- Seattle Met
- Seattle Magazine
- Northwest Travel Magazine
- Puget Sound Business Journal
- Kenmore-Bothell Reporter
Develop contacts at the publications you’re identified.
As with all other aspects of life and business, relationships rule. Developing contacts at the news outlets where you would like your business covered is key to getting your story picked up.
Begin by identifying the reporters who regularly cover stories similar to yours. This means reading the newspaper, watching the news and/or listening to the radio. It might also include following specific blogs.
Most times, reporters include contact information with their byline. Keep a record of those you would like to cover you and their contact information. As you send them press releases, track:
- Who picks up your story
- Anyone who contacts you for a follow up
- Any personal information you can