Does your company want 116M viewers of your sales win? This podcast tells you how to do it

By Jim James,

Founder EASTWEST PR and Host of the SPEAK|pr Podcast

Press release distribution services are a great way to increase brand awareness, and it’s possible to do so using Cision‘s PR Newswire. This is a case study of a press release done for one of EASTWEST PR’s clients one week before a virtual trade show the client was participating in. It was a four-paragraph press release announcing the manufacturer of a new 15-minute COVID-19 saliva test product. There was no time build their own media, but because the news was relevant and striking, it was worth sharing immediately. The press release didn’t mention the client’s name due to political and commercial sensitivities around this kind of announcement, but one of the client’s customers was willing to give an anonymous testimonial, and that made it strong enough to send out.

When it comes to distribution, timing is everything. Since the target market were Americans, the press release was sent out in the morning US time , and it included the company logo for a supplemental fee. For releases less than 400 words, it costs around £1,000, but the price does go up according to the length of the release, if images will be added, and also the number of media targets chosen. The budget for this press release in particular was increased to reach specialist verticals and add manufacturing and medical companies to the distribution list. 

Press release distribution at speed with PR Newswire

Photo from MultiVu

The press release went out automatically through Newswire, which journalists would be able to see and then it would be up to them to pick up that story and run it themselves. It came out on websites like Yahoo Finance and Market Watch, a number of TV stations affiliated with the Newswire, and in the client’s niche with companies like the UK Biotech Database, Elsevier, Physician Family, all of which were included in a report provided by Cision. The next step was reaching out to the journalists that picked up the story and asking them if they would be interested in talking further about it. The report they provided was extremely detailed, indicating the countries the press release was read from, the number of views it got, the journalists that picked up the story, and so on. The first report was given just two days after the press release was sent out, and they always provide daily reports for the next 30 days so the client can see what coverage they’ve been getting. The option to have a longer story was possible, and that would have come with Cision‘s outreach and management tool that would show the media that had picked up the story and enable reaching out to them. 

PR Newswire, which goes out to their syndicated network, picked up 109 press releases that were verbatim, which was great. That gave the client a potential audience of 116 million viewers, which is quite large for a specialist vertical industry manufacturer, but it was the safest way to get the news across all of the smaller channels, bearing in mind that the target audience would be employees, CEOs, CFOs, procurement managers, and anyone involved in manufacturing or in the procurement of medical devices in America. Aside from PR Newswire, there are a number of other news services with varying prices as well. The more expensive they are, the bigger the list and the more tier one publications that they have, but some press release distribution services can cost as little as $80-$90, and they give options as to the countries and industries it will be sent out to. 

Press release distribution provides a first blanket approach into the market to build a company’s profile. It also helps other websites improve their SEO ranking, but because search engines are constantly being fed with content, sending out a press release once is not enough; the content needs to keep coming. As a strategy to raise awareness before an event, a press release sent out through Newswire can be a very quick and relatively cost-effective way to get some coverage. Along with long-form articles sent to the media beforehand, these complement a speaking event or attendance at a function. So, for companies looking to build their brand with even the smallest piece of information about a win that can be shared, even without mentioning the company name, it can be worth investing in and sending out through a press release. Press release distribution is a core part of any public relations activity, and if it will serve as part of an overall plan for PR activities and what is called authority marketing where the goal is for the spokesperson to be seen as an authority in a market or sector, then sending out a short press release on the eve of an event can be a very useful strategy indeed.

This article is based on a transcript from my Podcast SPEAK|pr, you can listen here.

Cover Photo from Tyler Clementi Foundation

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