The origin of the press release dates back to long before the era of the Digital Age. As technology is constantly changing, public relations firms have to be increasingly innovative with the ways in which they are distributing press releases. Here are some ways that press release distribution has changed over the years and how to use these changes to your benefit.
1) Keep the Reader Interested
Press releases were originally only distributed to newspapers, but the Internet has allowed media outlets to post them online for anyone to view. This means that the language in press releases must be understandable for everyone while also being captivating in an age of 24/7 news. According to Time Magazine, approximately 55% of people who click on links spend less than 15 seconds actually reading, and then will leave the page. Therefore, it is crucial to include important keywords, phrases, and interesting quotes that will keep the reader interested.
2) Focus On Quality Over Quantity
An important part of effective distribution is ensuring that the information you are sharing is newsworthy. The creation of email and the rise of the Internet means that reporters are inundated with the amount of press releases they receive, and often times many are ignored. Therefore, your press release should have a captivating headline that catches the reader’s eye immediately and makes them want to continue reading.
3) Tailor Your Message
Since reporters receive so many press releases, knowing where to send yours is key to success. Know whether it needs to be sent to national or local publications, which specific industries would be interested in the release, and the appropriate reporters who would be interested in the content. Once you know who needs to receive the release, you can tailor the message of the release for your audience.
4) Be Proactive
In public relations, it is necessary to maintain positive relationships with various publics. One of these very important publics is the media, and PR professionals know it is crucial to have a good relationship with reporters. When reporters are overwhelmed by hundreds of press releases that they have no interest in reporting on, it can be a good idea to reach out to reporters and ask them the types of stories they are looking to share.
Similarly, it is important to pay attention to the news cycle and determine the perfect timing to send your press release. By learning what the reporters are interested in publishing, you can decide which stories are most likely to get picked up and greatly increase your chances of getting media coverage for your clients.