Distributing press releases provide a number of benefits. You are able to reach reporters directly who are most likely to cover your story, achieve wide exposure of your brand, reach more sales and more.
When it comes to distributing releases, using a press release service is one convenient way to get your news in front of your target audience. There are many newswire services options to choose from. Each one varies, depending on their offer, packages and how they will assist you in achieving your goals.
Question #1: Does the service have a network of media outlets that match my business?
Who are the reporters who are most likely to cover your story? Identify reporters who belong to your niche.
You need to ensure that you are choosing a service that is going to reach your target reporters. You need to have enough information first on each service before you make the buying decision and make comparison.
Distribution services work by sending your news to their network of media that they have strong relationships with. Ask yourself, “Can their network of media help my business in reaching my goals and promoting my message?”
Making a rush decision may lead you to miss the mark, instead of seeing the elements that would help you in picking the service that would help you reach your goals. Once you have gathered the information, weigh each features, cost and benefits you’ll get.
Consider the type of press you want to reach. For example, if you want to reach possible buyers, you may target an online distribution service. On the other hand, if you want to reach the media, you should reach online as well as newsrooms.
Question # 2: What is the desired outcome of my campaign?
This question is answered based on what you want to achieve. Go back to your goals. What does your business want to reach at the end of your communications campaign?
Do you want to:
Build brand engagement: Does the service support sharing on social media platforms? There should be social media sharing tools that will encourage audiences to share it on various channels. You may look for a newswire service that provides brands a chance to engage with their audience through curated, industry-specific social media feeds.
Search visibility: You should go with a distribution company that has high search engine authority to make sure that your content will be seen by your target audience. Research ahs shown that 85 percent of customers research first before they make a purchasing decision.
To earn media pickup: Do you want to gain placements of your story in the newspapers, magazines, television or radio? Studies have proven that third party publicity validates your story.
Based on Nielsen study, consumers trust earned media better than paid and owned media. Choose a content distribution service that has a long history and experience with the media. They should provide direct delivery of your news to the editorial systems of big publications.
To boost conversion: One of your goals may be to acquire new audiences. It’s not enough that you have a new content syndicated in different channels. Without acquiring new customers, it is useless. Choose a service that has a network and content tools that would help in exposing your content to a large audience.
To boost online visibility: Pick a distribution company that helps your brand to reach major sites to gain placement of your story. If they are connected with major news sites like Business Journals, MarketWatch and Yahoo!, your story gets better reads and shares.
Question # 3: Who is my planned audience?
Plan your demographic, industry-specific and geographical goals. Who are the audience you want to target? If you can’t identify them, how could your content be effective?
Local, regional or national market: Do you want to reach the local or the bigger audience? Choose a service that provides the audience you want to reach.
Industry-specific audience: Are you targeting a niche industry? Make sure that you connect with a service that covers industry-specific markets.
Culture and demographics: Choose a service that target audiences by religion, lifestyle, gender, age and ethnicity.
International: If you’re considering the international audience, go with a service that offers local language distribution. Consider professional translation feature that will translate the language of your content to your target audience. Make sure that they collaborate with media experts in other countries to increase the chance of coverage overseas.
Multicultural market: If you want to diversify, you may opt for a service that offers ethnic audiences like African Americans, North American Chinese, Native American and Hispanic.
Question # 4: Does the service supports social media promotion?
You need to check a service that allows you to share your content on the social media. Keep in mind that the social media is a very powerful tool to connect a brand to the audience.
Check a service that allows social media sharing to increase the exposure of your content. Your content has more tendency to go viral if it is shared on the social media. Check a service that provides social sharing tools that will allow you to connect with the media and other audiences.
Question # 5: Does the service offer tracking tools?
It’s essential that you could track the results of your content campaign. You can’t go on launching campaigns, without knowing if it’s working or not.
Remember that distribution services can easily earn trust from their clients if they can update them with the results of their campaign. Giving clients updates on their releases is important to ensure that they understand their return-on-investment (ROI), and how they can improve their next campaign.
Reporting is very important to help you measure the success of your promotion and distribution efforts. Make sure that they offer analytics as part of the package.
Question # 6: Do they have package options that answer my business needs?
Every press release distribution has a goal. You need to check the service that it can help you in reaching your goal.
Check their features. There’s no point in connecting with a service that can’t provide your needs. Check the package and pricing options available in a service.
Does it fit your capacity and needs? Choose a distribution company that offers a wide array of options to fit every budget and marketing needs.
For instance, if you are just a startup, you want to make sure that you don’t spend a lot in distributing releases without getting a good ROI. Every investment is crucial. Choose a service that can maximize what you can pay.
Question # 7: Does the service offer writing services?
Not all companies or brands can write their own releases. There are some brands that don’t have a content team, not an expert yet in writing releases, or don’t have enough time to issue releases on their own.
If this is the case, you need to choose a service that offers writing services. Again, each newswire service offers different packages including writing services. Choose a service that offers affordable but quality writing service.
Check their previous work before making a decision. Get samples of their work. Does their work resulted in placements in the newspaper or magazines?
Question # 8: What features are important to my business?
You need to consider what a distribution service offers. Consider your needs. Do they offer it?
Here are significant features that you need to consider:
Multimedia: Can you embed images and videos in your releases? Do they syndicate multimedia content like audio clips, infographics, videos and images?
Customizable, interactive content: Your content should be HTML file ready to ensure that it is easily crawled by the search engines. Does it have bullet points, highlights, subheadlines, anchor text and bolding to offer a content that is interesting?
Additional services: You may want to consider a service that offers additional services, including video production, strategic media placement, media monitoring, targeting platforms, media and IR websites and international distribution.
Question # 9: What is the level of my service expectations?
You need to consider some points that are important in your campaign such as the level of your expectation when it comes to the following:
User experience: Does the service provides fast and easy submission process of releases? Do they require you to register or not? Do they offer secure online portal and account management tools to streamline the process of submission?
Professional editorial assistance: Check the expertise and experience of their content team. Are they going to help you improve your releases? Ask questions including:
- What is the turnaround time for the releases?
- Do they proofread it?
- Do they assess the content based on standard guidelines of journalism?
- Do they offer recommendations on best practices and search engine optimization?
- Do they provide feedback and content analysis?
Hours available: You may need to consider what time they operate. Do they assist you outside their office hours in case needed? If you are facing a crisis, can they help you during those times. You may want to check if they have a staff who is ready to answer inquiries and offer help 24 x 7.
When making a decision, make sure that you have a clear goal. Always have a goal set in your mind, and what your desired result should be. Setting up your goals from the very start helps in assessing your campaign and distribution.