Step 5: Distributing Your Press Release
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Where should you send your news release, now that it is completed? The first thing you need to do is identify media outlets most likely to cover your story, and to build a media list.
After many years of helping people create press releases, we realized that we could go one step further.
In October 2014 we announced that CanadaOne would introduce CDN WIRE: a new wire service that would fill the gap for more localized, targeted stories.
We have started sharing releases and are currently only publishing MemberZone submsissions. You can now manage all of your news releases in one place and publish them for just a few dollars per month.
TRY CDN WIRE for free on a 30 day trial.
Building a Media List
Building a targeted media list is an invaluable tool for most businesses. The best way to build your list is to carefully watch track media publications and shows, and to identify reporters and producers who would be interested in your story. Call the media outlets to get the phone and fax number, and mailing address of the journalists you would like to send your release to. Don't forget to included bloggers and online journalists when building your list.
Tip: A contact relationship management (CRM) software program can help you build and maintain relationships with the media.
Distributing your News Release: the Wires
There has been a lot of consolidation amongst media list services since we first created this tool. Canada Newswire continues to be the primary Canadain option, with Vocus and Cision dominating in the US market.
Newswires distribute your press release directly to editors, other media outlets like Routers and they also publish the press releases on their website. Many journalists rely on newswire sites for information and story ideas. Wires are often used by larger companies and non-profit organizations. They have the advantage of immediately reaching a broad range of media outlets across the country. The cost is usually $275 - $600 to send a single release, with pricing based on the number of words in your release (a minimum word count will usually apply.)
You can send the news release directly to the media yourself, using the mail or email. When in doubt about the best option, ask the journalists you will be sending your release to. This can have the advantage of creating a more personal connection with the people you send the release to. It can also be a more cost-effective option if you are targeting a small list of journalists.
Timing & relevance to maximize results:
It is best to send your news release early in the day and you will have a better chance of getting your story noticed if your release is not sent on a busy news day. For example, sending a news release out as a major strike or natural disaster was taking place would not be good timing. Monday and Tuesdays are usually busy news days and by Friday most assignments have been handed out as journalists get ready for the weekend.
One of the best ways to get your news release noticed is to "piggyback" or "tag" your story on a popular current topic. This tactic has been used for years in journalism, but it was recently given the fancy new moniker: news-jacking, where companies create their social media shares based on the breaking news stories of the day.
You don't have to look far to find both successes and epic "newsjacking" fails. Of course the fails often stand out more than the successes. Be careful: if an issue is politically or emotionally sensitive, seeming to capitalize on it for your own gain could damage your company's goodwill and public perception.