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Beyond Press Release Distribution – How to Get More Reach

By Chelsie Woods
So your company has a big announcement to share with the media – perhaps it’s an announcement about a new project win or to tell the market that your business is expanding.

Sending a press release to a large list of media contacts or using a newswire distribution service are great ways to share this news with a large audience. However, how do you know this announcement will get picked up and how do you further support it to increase the chances that it will get covered by the media?

Distributing a press release is only a small part of the process. There are many other steps that should be taken to increase the chances that the media will cover your press release and your company.

Create a targeted media distribution list
When distributing a press release, take a look at the types of media you want to target. While some announcements warrant distribution using a large press release distribution service, such as industry revolutionizing technology or a sizeable acquisition, not every press release will see results from this approach.  Consider creating a targeted list that identifies media outlets that cover your market.

For example, if you are announcing a project win with a major restaurant chain, consider augmenting your core industry media list to include restaurant trade publications, media outlets located in your geographic area and the corporate headquarters of your client.

Follow-up on your distribution
If you sent out a press release to the media that garners little coverage, but you feel a publication should be picking it up, send a follow-up email or give them a brief phone call. Like all of us, reporters and editors are faced with information overload. Many of them are receiving dozens of press releases on a daily basis.

Offer an interview
Publications like to have information that is unique. While you may send out an announcement to a large audience, considering offering an interview to one or two publications. This can include both a spokesperson from your company, but also your customer, if you are announcing a project win. By taking this approach, you give the media outlet the opportunity to create an expanded article, with comments and details that go beyond the information in the actual press release. This also enables them to write a story that is different and more in-depth than their competitors’ coverage of the same news.

Provide photos
Whenever possible, include photos with your press release. Both online and print publications are always looking for artwork to illustrate the stories they run. The best type of photos show your products and solutions at work in the field, including pictures to illustrate your customer. If you do not have those types of photos readily available, you can also include a head and shoulder photo of the spokesperson quoted in your press release.

Taking a few additional steps to help support your press release can go a long way in helping your news get noticed and covered by the media.

— Chelsie Woods is one of two founding owners of Eclipse Media Group. She has nearly two decades of public relations and writing experience in the technology and security industries and worked as a reporter for three newspapers in Maine.