Do you know the impact that press coverage (earned media) can have on your business?

It can build credibility and trust with prospective customers and position you as an expert in your industry.

Even in this day and age of fake news and taunts of journalists being the enemy of democracy, people still trust earned media more than advertising. Yes, 92% of people trust earned media placements more than ads.

That all hinges on your press release distribution. A distribution list that doesn’t get results won’t do you any good.

How can you increase your press release distribution and see results?

Keep reading to find out more.

1. Know Your Target Audiences

Press releases get coverage because the topic is of interest to a publication’s readers. That being said, you have two audiences to focus on.

The first is the readers of the publication. The second audience is the editorial team at a given publication.

To figure out your audiences, start with your target market. That’s going to closely match the readers of a given publication. You’ll make it easier to find publications to target.

For example, if you target B2B audiences, you’ll want to get coverage in B2B outlets, and ones that target your particular industry. If you’re not sure who the intended audience is for a press outlet, then try to find the media kit online.

The media kit has all of the relevant information you need about a magazine or newspaper. It has advertising rates, subscriber and reader statistics, and demographic information.

It may also include an editorial calendar. That’s useful to you because it gives you an opportunity to time your press release. You can make it relevant to the publication, increasing your chances of coverage.

Targeting the editors can be a little more challenging. You’ll need to look at the masthead of a publication. This has information about the different writers and editors of the publication.

You want to look through it to find the editors(s) that are most likely going to be interested in your business. Your B2B business won’t be of interest to the Food Editor, but it will be to the Business Editor.

2. Scrub Your Distribution List

Do you have an existing press list? This is a great time to go through it and make sure that it’s up to date with the most recent contact information. If you don’t have a list, then use this time to create a solid distribution list.

You’ll use the information from the masthead in the target publications to find the right editors. Then, create a spreadsheet with the names of the publications, websites, and editors. You’ll need to have additional columns for email addresses, phone numbers, and publication frequency.

You can send an introductory email to the editors and ask them questions. Your job is to make their job easier. Ask them about what they look for in press releases and what their deadlines are.

3. Create an Angle for Your Press Release

Why should editors and reporters care about your press release? It may be important to you, but to get the attention of a busy reporter, you need to make them care.

You need to create a headline that grabs their attention right away. The rest of the press release has to have the 5W’s – who, what, when, why, and where.

You can add an image or two to the press release and have a call to action at the end.

4. Use a Press Release Distribution Service

As you can see, it’s a time-consuming process to do PR for your company. The return on investment is great and well worth it. However, you need to focus on other activities in your business.

That makes using a press release distribution service a viable option. They take your press release and send it out to a cultivated list of journalists and bloggers that fit your target audience.

When you’re looking for the best PR distribution service, you should compare the lists you can send press releases to, costs, and see what else they offer.

5. Follow Up With Journalists

Did you send out a press release and hear crickets? The most important thing you can do is to follow up with journalists.

You should do this with two goals in mind. One is to get press coverage. A close second is to continue to build relationships with reporters.

There are no hard and fast rules about following up with journalists. Some may give you a response in a couple of days, others may not respond at all.

Don’t take it personally! You don’t want to be a pest to journalists and email them every day after you sent a press release to them. Give it a few days, and if you don’t hear anything, send a polite follow-up email.

Ask them if there was something about the release (timing, angle, topic) that caused it not to get covered. This is valuable information to use moving forward and you opened the door to further conversation.

The reporter will remember you the next time you send a press release. That simple follow up email could give you the opportunity to be a source for a related topic in a future story.

Get Smart About Press Release Distribution

There’s no doubt that press releases can make a huge impact on your career and your business. Getting the press releases covered is the one thing that stands between your business and success.

You need to focus on press release distribution before you start to craft your press releases. Make sure that you’re targeting the right audiences, and start to build relationships with journalists. It is time-consuming, so you may decide to use a press distribution service.

Are you ready for more tips to grow your business? Head over to the Business Marketing section of this site.