In my last post, I introduced you to the concept of manual press release distribution — which, in most cases, will involve emailing your news release to hand-picked and well-targeted media outlets. Today let’s talk about when that might be a better option than using a press release distribution website.

Here are a couple of scenarios where it makes sense to manually email your press release to key journalists instead of using a distribution services:

Your News is of Local Interest

Press release distribution websites are handy if your news is of somewhat general interest or wide appeal. But it might not be worth the cost (or even be helpful) when your news is only of local interest.

At the same time, there’s no guarantee your local media will even use those distribution sites as sources, meaning your news might never get into the right hands.

This is an ideal time to send your press release directly to local journalists and bloggers who care about your news. It’s a chance to cultivate those relationships, which is the most important part of routinely being able to land media coverage.

Your News is Industry-Specific

Similar to local news, sometimes your news is of significant importance within your industry, but more general media outlets won’t care. So wasting time and money on generic distribution websites isn’t worth it.

Instead, email your news release directly to journalists at industry publications. That includes trade magazines, broader-interest magazines with sections dedicated to your industry, industry newsletters, blogs, and other industry websites.

Again, this is about cultivating relationships, so pay attention to each journalist’s rules for submitting news, and get to know their audiences. If you give them garbage they can’t work with, they won’t take later pitches from you as seriously. But if you regularly give them what their readers (or listeners, subscribers, or viewers) want, you might become a go-to source.

These are the two most common situations where it makes sense to bypass press release distribution sites and focus your efforts on manually distributing your news to the media. But manual press release distribution is something you should use every time you have news to put out. Distribution sites might help you get picked up in smaller outlets — and there’s a longer-shot chance they’ll earn you placement in bigger ones. But don’t rely on off-chance coverage.

The best results come to those who go out there and earn them. So if you want coverage in Publication A, get your press release directly to the best editor at Publication A — every time.

Need help drafting a press release? Contact me and let’s talk about your company’s news.

Jennifer Mattern
Jennifer Mattern is a freelance blogger and business writer specializing in helping small businesses and independent and creative professionals. In addition to writing for others for 19 years and having 16 years experience in PR and online marketing, Jenn has been blogging for 14 years and runs several blogs of her own includingAll Freelance Writing, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.
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