If you work for a small business or an organization that rarely distributes press releases, you may be distributing them yourself instead of using a distribution service (newswire). While there is no single best approach to press release distribution, undertaking dissemination yourself can be challenging.
Below we break down five significant risks of distributing a press release yourself, and how to mitigate them.
1. Misidentifying Target Audiences, Media Outlets & Journalists
A press release can be an effective tool to increase brand awareness, promote audience engagement, alert readers of important company news, and secure additional, earned media coverage. However, to achieve these objectives, distribution must target the appropriate audiences. This involves identifying relevant media outlets and journalists一a big task without extensive effort and knowledge of the media landscape一and getting the press release in front of them.
These are monumental undertakings for an individual, with a high probability of lackluster results if done incorrectly.
2. Taking Too Long to Distribute
Distributing a press release yourself can be exceedingly time consuming. Once preferred media contacts are identified, accurate contact information is required, and unique pitches. In many cases, follow-ups are also necessary.
This takes time, especially if you don’t have existing relationships with targeted media contacts. If you’re distributing a timely piece, taking this approach may demand too much time, and the release may no longer be newsworthy once finally distributed.
3. Unpersonalized Journalist Pitches
Any journalist will tell you their inbox is usually filled to the brim with irrelevant press releases and poorly executed, impersonal pitches. While this risk isn’t strictly relegated to distributing a press release yourself, it can be consequential.
Even if you take the time and effort to identify the best journalists for your release, a generic email message isn’t likely to get their attention. In each journalist pitch, demonstrate you know their beats and why writing a follow-up piece on your release will provide value to their readers. For additional tips, see “How to Pitch a Press Release.”
4. Inappropriate Cadence
While organizations often risk distributing too many press releases一including those lacking newsworthy content一there’s also the potential to fall short when distribution is challenging. A regular but thoughtful cadence of press releases is probably warranted for expanding brand awareness.
However, regularly creating and distributing quality content may be untenable for an individual.
5. Inability to Measure Performance
Without the ability to measure the performance of a press release, it’s difficult to determine how effective the distribution strategy is and, by extension, return on investment (ROI). This is a particularly significant downside of distributing a press release on your own.
While you may be able to determine whether a journalist picks up your piece, you won’t have an accurate picture of the release’s reach or engagement without the ability to measure views, shares, and other metrics一often key ROI criteria. For more on press release metrics, see “How Do I Measure the Success of My Press Release?”
News Direct Helps Mitigate These Risks
News Direct, a relative newcomer to the newswire landscape, has reimagined press release distribution for the public relations (PR) pro一even those distributing press releases themselves.
At News Direct, users draft, collaborate, and distribute their press releases from a single, self-directed online platform called the Content Studio. Cloud-based isolation technology, secure sharing, and two-factor authentication provide next-generation security throughout the press release workflow.
It’s easy to add multimedia, such as images, videos, or infographics, and with News Direct’s proprietary Digital Asset Direct™ functionality, users can even distribute multimedia on a standalone basis一without accompanying text.
Targeting is a breeze with News Direct’s premier, global network of media agencies, news outlets, trade press, and niche outlets. In addition, users can leverage its exclusive integration with the global DB Direct™ Media Database, powered by Agility PR Solutions, to create a targeted list of journalists from more than 1 million media contacts and outlets. With a few mouse clicks, the release is on its way or scheduled for future distribution.
Users can easily track their press release performance with News Direct’s suite of metrics available in easy-to-share formats.
Finally, News Direct offers this functionality and more for a single, flat-rate, asset-based fee. Pricing is predictable, affordable, and fully transparent一perfect for those PR pros working independently, or with tight budget constraints.
Contact News Direct today to demo its revolutionary capabilities and eliminate the risks of distributing press releases yourself.