The Difference between Distributing Press Releases and Pitching the Press
If people are new to Public Relations (PR), SEAPRWire will work with people to understand the difference between distributing a news release and pitching the press.
Distributing a Press Release:
This marketing initiative involves writing a 1-2 page news release announcement for their company, uploading it to one of the online news release distribution services, who then distributes it (and sometimes publishes it directly) to a network of search engines, news websites, and social media. This announcement then gets published verbatim across these news websites and internet platforms.
PROS OF NEWS RELEASE DISTRIBUTION:
Guaranteed Coverage: Pickup of their news release is pretty much guaranteed if people use an online news release distribution service. How? Because reputable services partner with news sites that agree to publish each press release.
Affordable: People are not paying too much, then people can get some web coverage for their business.
Fast: Once people submit a press release, people can typically get pick up in Google and news sites within a few hours
Longevity Online: People searching in Google News or Google often come across news releases distributed weeks, months or even years earlier.
Positive Message: With a press release, people control the entire message, so people can be assured of positive and accurate coverage for their company.
Reach: By being published on Google News and other news websites, their news release can reach readers of all types, from journalists researching a story to potential customers, investors, partners, and others. It even gives existing customers and employees confidence to see their company active in the news.
CONS OF NEWS RELEASE DISTRIBUTION:
Not Exclusive: By definition a news release is not an exclusive for a writer in the media, so they may consider it stale news once it has been published as a press release. So it is not a good way to pitch press writers.
Not front page news: News releases are almost never republished on the front page or even in the main sections of online news websites. The news websites reserve the front page and the main sections of their publication for original stories written by their writers.
Pitching the Press:
A pitch is a story idea which typically involves their company or client. This marketing effort involves creating a target list of publications and websites that are relevant to their pitch, identifying the writers or editors which cover their specific area or location at these media outlets, and then individually and personally contacting them to let them know about their upcoming news or topic idea to try to get them to write a story about their company.
PROS OF PITCHING THE PRESS:
Original Coverage: To get an original story written about or including their company is a big deal and can have a huge impact on their business. It may drive new sales or give their company more credibility in their industry. One of these stories can benefit their company for years. The value of an original story in an important publication far exceeds the value of a pickup of their general news release on news sites.
Longevity online: Similar to a news release but even better, an old story about their company may be found in Google News or Google for a long time.
SEO value: Oftentimes, earned media (rather than paid for) isn’t subject to the same SEO restrictions as paid media (ads, news releases, etc) and the links can be ‘follow’ links, which in turn can help their SEO value.
CONS OF PITCHING THE PRESS:
No Guarantees: People may pitch 100 writers and get ignored 100 times. There are no guarantees of any coverage when pitching the press
Expensive: If people hire a publicist or PR firm, people are likely looking at a monthly retainer of $2,000-$15,000 for a minimum of 3-6 months. If people do it in-house, it may not cost anything more but it will take time.
Time-consuming: It takes time to come up with good pitch ideas, research relevant writers, and contact them one by one with a personal note about their pitch including why it builds on a topic they cover, or would be of great interest to their readers. Ideally people rank their target list, and offer each writer one by one an exclusive on the story before contacting the next writer on the list, particularly if people have something where an exclusive matters (a new market report, first look at a product launch, other big news). It takes a lot of time waiting to see if a writer is interested. Sometimes it may take a year or more just to build a relationship with a writer where they respond to their emails. Even if people do get a writer to cover their company with a story, it may take weeks or months to get it published.
Story Uncertainty: Unlike a press release, the writer can write whatever they want. People do not control the narrative. Sometimes the writer gets the story slightly wrong, or potentially can write a negative piece. Of course, they can do this whether or not people pitch them.
SEAPRWire would suggest using both PR tactics, first pitching writers and then issuing a press release. If people get a positive original story from their pitch, it can be incredibly valuable. So try that first. After attempting to pitch, issue a news release on the topic for some guaranteed web and search engine coverage on their company. PR is just one aspect of marketing, and using these two tactics will go a long way to help their company’s visibility in the public. It is one of the best ways to get in front of potential customers, partners, investors, media, and reassure existing customers and employees about their company.
SEAPRWire is the top-up newswire in Southeast Asia. It offers PR distribution service to all Southeast Asia regions, including: Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Hong Kong and Taiwan. SEAPRWire has a network of media editors, journalists, magazines, newspapers and PR agencies. It also cooperates with top wire services like JCN Newswire, Factiva, Eiko Reuters, Bloomberg, Yahoo, MarketWatch, BusinessInsider. SEAPRWire can distribute press releases in multi-linguages, such as: Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Indonesian …
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