With a deluge of content floating about, the line past which you would call an item of interest newsworthy or even ‘news’ blurs. But every word or picture that comes from your business stays forever, aiding your public relations cause, or harming it.
To readers, it amounts to too much text in every direction staking claim to their attention. In the age of wafer-thin attention spans, this is bad news for you if you have something important to say.
When you look for a one-stop platform to streamline your public relations efforts, you need a knowledgeable service; preferably one that has proven experience in the industry of your business.
The digital newswire is already overwhelmed
The dawn of every event and idea is not, and should not, be deemed as news.
Hard newswires distinguish themselves from the tabloid press by keeping their definition of ‘news’ authentic and lofty.
Tabloids report flimsy items like commentary on someone’s appearance, travel, or leisure matters.. Stories with little by way of ratified worth, answers to questions, or informative value might still make it to publication in this section.
It matters now more than ever that only curated, vetted pieces of news hit the newswire. Impactful marketing (of which PR distribution is a subset) reduces fluff and upholds the cause of well-written messaging that is adapted to the style and tone of the brand which it champions.
Even more important: each business must carefully select listeners and reduce lists of probable parties to improve the quality of its audience. This is how you develop your ‘tribe’.
These intangible skills of curation and presentation make up the all-important public relations efforts of your business.
The simplest and oldest form of making announcements and maintaining public relations is through press releases. It is a tool as old as the hills. It never goes out of fashion because it focuses on what is new about your business.
Press releases: the age-old marketing tool that trains the spotlight on novelty
Press releases are created and distributed with the intent of giving out information to the public at large.
Opinions, facts, or discoveries make up PRs. The more objective, and detailed the message conveyed is, the more authentic it is to the reader.
Sowing the seed of news about your business via the most electrifying channels is a larger task than writing the PR itself. At the time of sending out this message into the world of recipients, you need a service that narrows down your audience to the highest number of willing recipients.
What, then, ensures that the right sets of eyeballs are trained on a piece of news? The answer is PR distribution. Want to get your story out? Tell it to the right people.
Who are these people? They are the people with the right connections and reach. Only now, you have the media houses and services like PR Fire:
- They know which times are the best for posting.
- You can rely on them to keep the livewire of the newswire buzzing.
- They find appropriate readership
- They help you identify the tone and voice that necessitates sharing and decisive action on part of your target group.
Are PRs worth distributing in this climate of newswire overload?
Of course, they are.
Your social media posts might track a lot of engagement but the most formal public relations tool to fall back on is the PR.
Its classical appeal sets off Facebook groups and Pinterest/Instagram pages where you also can showcase your PR.
Among the bulletins choking every hour, it’s easy for your message to get lost.
Look at this way: Announce via PR, engage everywhere. Leads and consumer engagement are a spin-off that adds to your brand value.
Not only do you need to distribute your PR along the correct channels, but you might need an agency that does it with tact and awareness.
In addition to your existing marketing collateral (websites, blogs, lead magnets, and newsletters) press releases are your vehicle for giving out exciting new nuggets of news and freebies. They keep up the tone and voice your venture gets associated with in the eyes of new leads.
If newswires are already chock-full of releases, what do you need to do differently?
1) Schedule releases when your audience is awake and online. The timing of the release is essential for maximum receptivity and retention.
2) Repetition and reposting for those who missed it the first time needs to be planned and spaced well apart.
3) Choose a PR agency that has a deep awareness of how social media distribution and digital newswires work. A huge chunk of Internet users now picks their news from their social media feeds. Instead of worrying about the blurring lines, take advantage of this shift.
4) Use press release distribution to drive organic traffic: With the evolution of SEO, it is now as much a brand-building tool as it is the force that helps your pages rank higher on the search engine results hierarchy.
What is PR distribution?
Distribution of your press release involves publishing it in the right areas and then drawing the maps to it via high-traffic avenues like social media, email, and offline promotion.
Dynamite marketing collateral can do the job you need when it is seen. But, it cannot call attention to itself just lying there. PR distribution creates the map and brings in the readers who, with the right filtering and suggestion, become your advocates.
Writing to journalists who have already held forth on the topic at hand, or at least the industry in which you figure is a great tactic.
Write a pitch about the PR you have crafted.
You should include a brief outline of the research you put in.
Does your PR have some new facts and curated insights? That’s great for followers of the domain.
Uncovered a surprising fact or figure? Mention it right at the start of your pitch.
If you can quantify the reach and metrics you hope to achieve through a specific PR campaign, even better.
What is a PR distribution service?
A PR distribution service is a conduit for your PR to reach the right consumers.
They have formal, enduring relationships with journalists and reporters, and the digital presence needed to help your business reach the virtual word-of-mouth you need.
Quite simply, they’re problem-solvers for your public relations efforts.
The better-defined your marketing goals are, the better this service can be deployed to your business’s advantage. Look to achieve transparent communication of your ideas and their work model to make optimum use of the service.
The optimum landing strip for your Press Release
The PR is a vessel for the most significant and relevant information about your business for this moment.
It can talk about the incorporation of a new venture, product line, an improvement upon an existing offering, or the flagging-off of a wholly pivoted idea.
It follows that such momentous announcements should figure among newswires of matching importance.
PR distribution – choose an agency that doesn’t hold back
Audiences are more visual than ever. You benefit from adding colour and imagery. Public relations receive a shot in the arm when you add videos, infographics, and details within patterns that are easy on retention.
PR distribution agencies come in all shapes and sizes. Some specialise in working with small businesses while others offer a neat corporate discount.
Here are some points for you to consider:
1) How many media types do they set you up with? For a competitive fee, PR distribution can reach Television, Radio, Bloggers, and Social Media Influencers. They also reach out to journalists and news editors in specific genres.
2) Cost: Compare the cost to the number of guaranteed impressions or placements in mainstream media. Look for corporate discounts or subscription plans that start you off at a low or introductory offer. Consider value-based additions as you scale up your business and your PR efforts.
3) Speed and reach: In public relations, as in various other business matters, time is money. How fast can the distribution service get the word out to the newswires and plum reporter desks? Four hours is an excellent bet. Industry-specific partner websites are the best spaces for your PRs to be showcased. Make sure your distributor has a strong network presence in your chosen industry.
4) Strong network presence: Look for information on the number of exclusive media communities and forums the distributor has. You can also ask questions about their subscriber base and the number of active visitors.
5) Insights for future planning: The best PR distribution services feed you back analytics about the number of visitors you garnered for each PR, visibility metrics, performance, and engagement.
6) Volume limits: Some PR services let you write your own PRs, as long or as short as you would like. Others have a 500-word limit.
7) Customer service: You as the Public Relations officer or Marketing executive of your business will have several other tasks in addition to choosing the distribution service. It helps to find a distributor who can interact with you to clarify questions and report back on the progress of your campaigns.
Digital marketing takes your PR to a whole new plane of visibility
This significance of incorporating SEO-specific factors makes itself felt right from the stage of compiling a PR. The tags, text, keywords, and images of choice are interwoven with distributing it as well.
Even before embarking on the phrasing, your writer needs a list of search engine optimization-targeted keywords and phrases.
These terms signal to the search engine crawlers that new information on oft-searched keyword strings (yes, they have to have considerable search volumes) is ready to be indexed. The significance of organic traffic this generates cannot be side-lined.
Any PR distributor worth their salt would urge you to mail out your PR to the existing list of email subscribers.
For your press release writer, this means they have to match a friendly, conversational, informational tone of voice. The response to the Call-To-Action (CTA) button or drip email is better if the recipient of the email connects with the PR on a personal level.
It means you have to have an email list at the ready. You will need to take stock of your sales funnels to determine the most pertinent list of email recipients for your PR.
Consider showcasing your PR with varying overlays of messaging depending on where your prospects lie in the drip sequence.
Often, a Press Release can get repurposed into a newsletter, paid ad campaign, event invitation, or even as an exit pop-up on a website.
For instance, given the constraints of social distancing following the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, several events are now conducted online.
Workshops, conferences, and symposia now take the form of webinars. A press release announcing a set of webinars or podcasts can include a link to the registration page. Patrons and delegates can share it easily on social media. You just have to ensure that your PR distributor incorporates the buttons for easy social media sharing in your PR.
Unilever, which plans to make its entire range of pyramid teabags biodegradable using plant-based material by the summer of 2021, has announced the fact in a PR on 9th July 2020.
On the top banner of this PR (which, incidentally, is also featured on Unilever’s global website) are the social media icons – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
Click one of these buttons and the user is taken to their pages where a wealth of information about what the brand stands for can be scanned by the visitor.
Mind you, these landing pages are an engaging montage of signature colour schemes and audio-visual content.
Stay consistent but make allowances for this year
From this discourse on distributing a PR in modern times, you see that your public relations saga is inextricably linked to the larger cause of digital marketing organic reach.
It’s a powerful tool in your positioning wheelhouse – one you can harness to bring greater results of readership and engagement.
Leverage the newswire to stay close to the recall-value of your customers.
Schools and businesses are in the process of dusting off their shutters and opening up again.
This is the right time to bring back the sheen of visibility to your brand.
Do it the way it’s been done all this while, with an added fillip of sophistication in PR distribution.