Press release distribution services that don't target a custom, specific list of editors and media contacts are generally a waste of time, money and resources. In order to achieve meaningful success with a news release submission and not just gain a temporary SEO boost, editors must be selected that are in the same industry or care about the same topics that the press release covers. Otherwise, businesses that indiscriminately blast irrelevant releases out to busy editors and publishers risk a quick "delete" at best and complete alienation from the media at worst. Understanding the traditional accepted practices of press release distribution can make the difference between getting your news in front of the right audience at the right time and becoming labeled a spammer.
The most critical element of press release distribution is a highly targeted media contact list.
Many online press release services send your press release out to every editor in their directory. This could result in the editor of a tractor magazine receiving a news release about a sale at a bakery three states away. You could also seriously offend some publishers. For instance, a press release about the opening of a new Jewish synagogue in Maine sent to PR contacts indiscriminately could reach the editor of a Catholic publication on the West Coast. Whatever the case may be, editors are typically bombarded with requests for inclusion. Therefore, anything that doesn't conform to standards stands no chance of getting published.
Press release distribution to a targeted list of editors will yield powerful results. This doesn't mean submitting one press release to multiple online press release submissions sites. This means sending your news directly to an editor's inbox. This can be done by email or fax provided that your release is in the proper format. News releases that are not in the proper format will be deleted. Releases that are irrelevant will get deleted. Press releases that are no more than self-serving ads will get deleted.
Editors are very selectively about what they publish, so to get a release submitted you must follow proper protocols.
Building a list of media contacts can be tedious. Finding the names, email addresses and fax numbers of editors who distribute their publications to readers potentially interested in your product or service requires a great deal of time and effort. However, if done correctly this effort can pay for itself with the first release you submit to your list. You can also save money by paying a press release service or public relations firm to develop the list for you, and hire an additional company to manage press release distribution email campaigns.
Finding relevant editors is as simple as a Google search. You can search by publication type, by media name, publisher name, or any keyword related to the audience you would like to reach. Additionally, media contact directories can be purchased from certain companies like Gebbie Press. In your searches consider the following:
State or Region-Specific Radio Stations
State or Region-Specific Television Stations
State or Region-Specific Daily Newspapers
State or Region-Specific Weekly Newspapers
Special Interest Publications
Clubs and Membership Magazines/Publications
Organizations (NPR, NRA, etc.)
Remember: If it's not relevant, DON'T submit it.
Once you have compiled a highly targeted list, you may wish to query the editor and "request permission" to submit your news release/s. However, remember that addressing the editor by name doesn't have the magical power that many people think it does. In fact, because editors often change, emails or faxes addressed to someone specific may never reach anyone at all. If you have a need to call on a specific editor, then do so. Otherwise, use Editor or Managing Editor in your queries and press release submissions.