According to one statistic, nearly 2,000 press releases are released by the three top newswire services every day. With more press releases being distributed and less journalists to read them, getting your news seen by the right person is becoming increasingly challenging.
Press releases are finely crafted pieces of copy, often containing ‘hidden’ agendas and signals to communicate to journalists and prospects. After being briefed, the PR pro will write a draft, which is subbed internally (at least, it is here at IBA) before being edited and approved by the client. Changes are tracked and comments addressed. If the story is about another stakeholder – customers and partners – sometimes this process can take weeks or even months, before the story is finally ready to rock and the media e-presses to roll.
But all that hard work is for nothing if the release is just blasted out through wire services to the masses, automatically picked up by a machine and published on a page for no-one to see. You must have seen them, the same old websites that pick up every single story out there. Your story on your brand new solution could be on the same site as the Rio Olympics, Donald Trump, or an advert for viagra!
Don’t be fooled by the sites that have hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors and publish your release in a ‘press release’ section – it’s just been picked up by an RSS feed. It has never been read by a living, breathing journalist.
Your release needs to be published in the opinion-leading journals and publications whose news sways the mind of the key decision-makers in your industry.
Focus on the industry publications that may have less overall visitors but more of the audience that matter – the key decision-makers with genuine interest in your industry and who have the power to buy your product.
At IBA, it’s our job to build strong relationships with journalists in target publications. We find that golden nugget of information in a company’s announcement that reporters will actually be interested in, delivering coverage of genuine value. We have always maintained our own individual distribution service that emails our client stories direct to the inbox of the journalist our clients want to influence. With most agencies only using these ‘spray and pray’ newswire services, our media distribution list is like gold dust to our clients.
Target your approach and the clipping rewards will speak for themselves.
Jon Brown, Pitch&Place specialist at IBA International