You have spent hours crafting your media release and boilerplate. It’s got a great news angle, an attention-grabbing headline, is free of typographical and grammatical errors, and you are available for media interviews over the next week.
This means you are ready to distribute it to the media, bloggers and other content providers who can put your news in front of hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom may be your next customer or want to find out more about you and your products/services.
I’ll assume you aren’t using a PR company for your media outreach campaign, which means you’ll have to spend a bit of time investigating the right media to send it to.
At the basic level, you’ll need their name and email address. I would also suggest you garner their title, what beat they work on, what media they work on and how often their section comes out, their telephone numbers, and recent articles they have written or pet subjects.
Google is your best buddy for this job although there are a few online resources that can source a media list and distribute it for you. Most are fee-for-service and require a minimum membership period to use it. Some take a little bit of getting used to but generally are fairly intuitive and you can receive reports as to how many opened it, how many clicked on links, etc.
Another resource is Media Connections where you submit press releases and products for review that journalists and bloggers can view. And you can also add your name to its ‘Available for Interview’ directory.
If you want to go it alone, draw up a list of the media you know and respect and believe would be interested in your news. Then start looking for specific people to contact. Go to the contact us page on the targeted media’s website. If it’s not there, call and ask the receptionist. Once you have the contact information, do a search for that journalist’s byline and see what else they have written. There may be something you can pick up on that relates to your media release.
Armed with this information, you can tailor your pitch to each individual journalist, blogger or content creator. You want to send the email directly to them with an introductory sentence or two followed by the media release pasted directly into the email. Make it personal and make it relevant to them. I would also embed a low res photograph so they know one is available at a glance.
Before you send it, put yourself in their shoes. They receive hundreds of emailed media releases every day. Will yours stand out? Make the subject line grab their attention. Have you made it easy to read? Is your contact information included?
When you feel it passes this test, hit send!
PRO TIP: if you feel your news is not earth shattering, you can always offer it exclusively to one media outlet, which is usually more appealing to them. If you do this, don’t forget to tell them up front it is exclusive to them.
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