A press release campaign is just one of the elements of the vast PR toolkit. It can help create positive, targeted awareness of a new product, service, team member, event or more. If you follow our tips below, your press release campaign has the potential to bring about new sales opportunities, increase SEO visibility, drive traffic to your website and also increase the positive reputation of your brand.
Here are our top 7 tips for creating a better press release campaign:
Create a compelling press release:
This is obviously a big topic, but our top tips would be to keep it factual, newsworthy and relevant. Put all the main information within the first paragraph of text (who/ what/ where/when/ why), then go into more detail in subsequent paragraphs.
Attach a relevant photo:
Attaching a high resolution photograph (300dpi) with your press release will also help it get more coverage – check out the media you are targeting with your release to see what type of images they tend to use. As some hi-res photos may be large in size, some journalists prefer to receive images they can download via a dropbox link (although this is not always the case as some journalists prefer attachments) – it is worthwhile making a note on your database as to each journalist’s preference. Also, make sure that you have relevant permissions/ copyright for the photo to be used by media, or quote a source if the photographer requires it. Sometimes a photo can really help the PR story to stand out in the media title, so make sure you send the right image – perhaps even sending a selection as online PR coverage can sometimes include multiple images.
Create a targeted PR database:
You can buy a list from a company such as Vuelio, Roxhill or Gorkana. However, have you thought about researching your own list to ensure you get the right contacts on your database? Better still, to make sure they’re the right contact, research them via their social media profiles, such as LinkedIn or Twitter. It does take a lot longer to produce the list, but we’ve found that you can get much better results.
Consider using a Newswire:
By distributing your press release via a newswire (take a look at responsesource or prnewswire) as well as to your database can really increase your coverage. Depending on which package you use, distribution can cost less than £100 per release. It’s also beneficial for your website’s SEO by creating an in-bound link. Plus, many of the sites offer reporting as standard, so you’ll see which websites have picked up your news.
Distribute your press release using an email distribution system:
We’ve found that by distributing a press release campaign using an email system (such as Mailchimp, for example), you can see which journalists have opened up your email. You can even see if they have forwarded the email or clicked any weblinks, which makes it easier when carrying out follow-up calls. However, it is possible that some emails may end up in junk mail; also, opens will only show up in Mailchimp stats if the recipient downloads the imagery within the email, so the stats won’t give a fully accurate portrayal of the email engagement.
Do selected follow-up calls:
Once you’ve sent your press release out to your database, it’s worth cherry-picking the most relevant journalists, or perhaps ones you can see have opened up your emails (see point 5 above), and follow-up with a phone call up to a week after the email’s been sent. It’s also a good way of building good relations with journalists, although don’t over-do it as journalists often have tight deadlines, so be respectful, keep the call succinct yet friendly and try to call at the most convenient time for them. Some journalists really don’t like ‘when’s it going in?’ calls, so make a note on your database to avoid annoying good contacts!
Maximise coverage using your own in-house tools:
Add a website-friendly version of your press release to your own website news/ blog page; then promote it via your social media platforms; and include the news within an email/ newsletter to your database (or relevant contacts within your database). You could also add a weblink to the news on your email signature, too.
Written by Emma Estridge, Director of Mushroom Marketing & PR. Emma founded Mushroom Marketing & PR in 2004 and has accumulated her PR and marketing experience within a variety of sectors, including music, insurance, construction, medical, legal, packaging, technology, interior design, manufacturing, print, not-for-profit/ charity and more.