Tuesday, January 7, 2014

There are three main criteria that a news release must meet in order for it to succeed. It needs to get to the right person at the desired media outlet, an editor or writer who specializes in your subject matter. Then, a news release must be newsworthy—timely, important, and different. And finally, your news has to matter to the particular audience.

Let’s focus on the third criterion. News spans multiple mediums. TV stations speak to their audiences differently than newspapers or online blogs. Even different entities within the same medium have different audiences (Certainly, Better Homes & Gardens Magazine speaks to a different segment of the population than does Rolling Stone Magazine).

Despite the many different streams of content, there are still ways to make the same news story appropriate for multiple media outlets. This is called developing an angle. Let’s say a retail store launches a new product. There are several “levels” to this story that can be used to differentiate pitches. There’s a local angle—maybe there are new jobs being created, the company owner has defied odds to reach success, or company profits are expected to surpass a certain threshold. There’s the news angle—is this product the first of it’s kind? And there is also the industry-specific angle—If this product is a solar-powered cell phone, technology publications will be the first to sign-up to publish an article about the product’s impact on future cell phones.

At Archer, we do extensive research to pinpoint media matches for press releases we distribute. Then, we write different versions of the press release to ensure we are communicating news that will appeal to each particular publication.

Archer also uses newswires to ensure the release is reaching as many potential media publishers as possible. These newswires distribute the story to a network of thousands of media outlets and even publishes the story online, which can help a company boost its website’s Search Engine Optimization.

Like most marketing endeavors, successful press release distribution takes time and effort. But, it’s worth it. Public Relations campaigns are an organic, third-party way to get your word out, yet they retain the ability to control the message. Having the media spread the word instead of the company itself lends credibility, often increases sales, and boosts brand awareness.