In 2022, Up your Press Release Distribution and Earned Media Game
February 18, 2022
Published by Jennifer Hammers
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If you are of a certain age, you might remember the very first video ever played on MTV: “Video Killed the Radio Star,” by The Buggles. The song provokes a mixture of nostalgia for the act of listening to the radio to hear our favorite songs, but with enough tongue-in-cheek lyrics to announce the arrival of a new way to listen to music. Many music journalists back in the day wondered – and some even predicted – that radio music was doomed as an outdated practice – and as such, no longer a relevant medium.
Sure, radio stations have struggled to attract advertisers and listeners, but that was the norm long before MTV ushered in the Age of Music Videos – and the struggle exists still.
Music is still played on the radio via either the air waves or a Satellite venture, such as SiriusXM. And thanks to the internet, we can even listen to radio broadcasts through our PCs and cell phones. Radio isn’t dead…it just evolved to fit the times.
To a similar degree, the demise of the effectiveness of Press Release Distribution has been considered, if not predicted, given the 24/7/365 news consumption world we currently live in. Businesses owners and PR/marketing pros might consider the odds of getting noticed these days are too small to bother with letting the media know about their news.
They would be sorely mistaken.
It’s because of this 24/7/365 news world we live in that makes Press Release Distribution more important in 2022 than ever before; moreover, with the relative ease with which we can now distribute our company’s news, all it takes is some know-how, and a solid distribution partner that can help. (Obviously, ACCESSWIRE’s decades-long experience in effective, targeted Press Release Distribution, plus its Flat-Fee “no-surprises” payment structure, makes an excellent partner for companies of all sizes…but we digress….)
Making Your Distribution Efforts Worthwhile If you’ve ever watched a televised college or professional football game right before or on Halloween, you have seen people in the crowd, in between plays, dressed up as all sorts of scary or funny beings. It’s not by accident that you’re seeing them; cameramen at those stadiums look for fans who made the effort to get into costume before going to the game. It makes for more enjoyable TV when you see a goofball who took the time to dress up in Halloween finery, rather than a fan sitting in his or her seat, quietly looking off into the distance.
Using the above rationale, you can apply certain strategic tactics to your company’s Press Release Distribution plan to increase the chances of getting your release noticed. You don’t even have to use face paint or fright wigs.
Press Release Distribution is still the best way to go, when pushing your company’s news out to the world. Getting noticed in 2022 may present a crowded field, but never let that discourage you: the field is largely packed with press releases that don’t resonate in all the ways that matter.
It doesn’t matter who is your audience – consumers, journalists, online distributors, and shareholders/stakeholders -- there are tried-and-true methods to take your distribution efforts five steps further to get noticed.
Personally contact journalists to establish good working relationships. This one involves a bit of homework on your part: identify reporters, editors or news producers who cover your company’s industry before you start pitching – you don’t even need to seek out national or international business reporters to start this process. Instead, try going local first.
Research journalists who work in your area and find their contact information. Call to introduce yourself (emailing beforehand to introduce yourself digitally is okay too), offer to meet them for coffee or lunch (speaking as a former journalist, it is true that reporters and editors tend to love coffee, and most do enjoy the occasional meal away from the newsroom). Get to know what kind of stories he or she is looking for. Taking this tactic is a key step in establishing you and your company to journalists who will invariably be looking through press releases, trying to find the next story. Think of your general location as the bullseye of a target that will expand outward overtime, toward statewide journalists, then regional, and so on. Local stories often get picked up by other media outlets.
Stay connected to them from time to time, with an email or phone call…but learn what time of day their deadlines happen – the fastest way to bother a journalist is to contact them when their copy is due. (A definite truism about journalists is the fact that they HATE unnecessary interruptions on deadline.)
Finally, when you do have a press release to distribute to your journalist contacts, make sure it is crafted well: as we have talked about before in several other blog posts, making your releases timely, newsworthy, relevant and short.
Make sure your press release is 100 percent accurate. Doing this on an ongoing basis gives you (as a “news provider”) and your company credibility. Whether your audience is the public, or the media outlets you are distributing your press release to, credibility – or the lack thereof – can make all the difference to your company’s reputation, and its bottom line.
Journalists rely on sources with whom they can place their trust…they live and die by the facts they report; and editors REALLY don’t like having to use dreaded corrections to the stories they put into their newspapers, digital news sites or on their TV/radio news shows. Make sure that you have several factcheckers looking at your press release before you distribute it anywhere. Make sure your in-house SMEs are available to verify your content for accuracy before every release you distribute.
Utilize SEO best practices. Accuracy is half the battle in creating a great press release. Making sure your release has the best SEO applied to it will help your chances of exposure, when it comes to the algorithms search engines use. If you missed our previous guide about SEO in your release, read it here.
Aside from the accuracy of the content of your press release, another good tip to keep in mind is that most search engines algorithms prefer releases that carry an authoritative “voice.” Use content and quotes that indicate strong expertise about your company’s industry, its products, its services, and/or whatever other subjects your releases are about.
Use your company’s social media accounts to encourage public engagement. There’s nothing that says distributing your releases across your company’s own social media platforms is a bad idea…in 2022, it’s simply a place to continue your news exposure. Additionally, any likes and shares further your company’s news.Most importantly, though, Press Release Distribution to your social media accounts invites engagement. This also helps your chances of a high rating among search engines. Keep in mind that using video content with your news distribution, and on social media platforms, makes your organic rank increase, so if you’ve got it, use it! Posts with multimedia get a lot more attention than those with only text.
Prepare your target audience carefully. It is easy to think that your company’s ideal audience is everybody. Sadly, this is not the case. One of the biggest misconceptions about Press Release Distribution is assuming that your chances of your release getting picked up by more news outlets if you send to ALL of them are better…not true; in fact, your odds are worse.
Your goal should never be to put your press release into everyone’s hands; rather, you want to make sure your news gets into the right hands. Throwing your press release everywhere is the surest way to have your news ignored.
Remember those local and statewide journalists we got to know in #1? They're outlets, and ones like those media organizations, will be where you start. Build out from there, to the regional and national contacts you have established. Also include industry-related trade publications and their online journals – many times, those are the places where pitches are the easiest.
Of course, it’s always a great idea to partner with a company that can help with your Press Release Distribution needs, or any other part of your corporate communications efforts. ACCESSWIRE would be happy to set up a day and time for a demo of our tools and services. If you would like to be contacted by us, click here!