The first thing to be aware of with Press Release Distribution is that the release be written correctly. The better written it is the more likely it will be placed in print. Editors are more likely to use something that takes little rework than one that has to be rewritten and called on to verify accurate information. So your release should inform the reader who, what, when and where.
Start the very first sentence of the piece with whom the event is about and then in that same sentence what they are doing. For instance you might write: Jane Smith will be showing her art collection Saturday evening at 7 pm. So now you have described the who and what. The next paragraph or two can describe Jane, who she is and why her collection is so valuable so as to be showing it.
The final paragraph is going to finish answering the four questions. It will tell where the event is to be held and when. For example it might say: The Smith show will be at the Garden Inn on June 3rd at 7 pm. Then of course you must give the information on how they can purchase tickets and a number they can call.
Distribution of these is another thing entirely, however since email has come into the picture it does help speed it up. If you send out releases on a regular basis then you should set up a file. It would be good to have one hard copy and one on the computer.
To set the file up, you will need to look up all the papers that are in your local area and get the name of the contact and his or her email address. This may take some phone calls. You can check online as well as in the yellow pages. Find everyone that is local to add to your list. Also you may find that the local television stations have a place for you to add releases to, so do a thorough job of looking for who will accept them online. You may send out 200 and only 10 will use them, so the more you can add to the list the better.
If you can find a way to build a working relationship with any of these editors it might increase your chances of getting your piece in print. Otherwise the best way to get anything in print is to write it well. Be concise; do not add anything extra in these releases. Editors are not looking for writers; they usually have all they need. But most editors will use a release that is written well if they have the space for it.
So once you have built your list, add it to your contact list of your email. Place these names in a group in your contacts so you can bring it up quickly. You do not want to go through your list every time you send one of these out, so group them now while you are putting it all together.
After that it takes persistence. Start the promotion at least a month in advance. See who puts the release in print. Three weeks out send it again to those who did not print it. Watch and wait to see who uses it, then send it out again. Sometimes an editor just does not have room to place it. Online that is not as common as in local newspapers. Eventually you will find who is more likely to print your press release and that you have favor with. Those are the ones to make sure they are kept informed of all your events.
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