The basic tool in a Public Relations campaign is the press release. Getting the word out and building awareness, right!?!

With all the methods and means of distribution and tracking available to marketing and branding professionals, time and effectiveness can be a challenge if you don’t know the players and how to position them.

Providing all the crucial who, what, when, where, why and how information, the press release helps to get your name spelled right as well as setting the tone and spin for your announcements.

How do you know if the press release was picked up?

There are services that provide the information. Many distribution services sometimes include reporting who has picked up and used the information in the price of their distribution services. Sometimes social media pick ups are more valuable than traditional media uses, but it depends on the goals of your campaign.

While tracking can add to the cost of distribution sometimes it seems like the client get another press release sent out for the price of tracking two! But what good is sending it out there if you don’t know if it worked? And what about follow ups? Want nice reports? Want social media mentions? Want to be able to measure positive feedback versus negative mentions? The array of distribution companies, tracking tools, social media monitoring and web measurement tools can be overwhelming and expensive:

  • Meltwater -$$$$
  • Vocus - $$$$
  • Cision(PRNewswire/PRWeb)- $$$$
  • Hubspot
  • Critical Mention
  • SimilarWeb
  • CoverageBook
  • Brandwatch
  • Mention $
  • Buzzsumo $$$
  • Google Alerts (free)

It’s almost always better to build a relationship with a writer or reporter or blogger than it is to mass distribute your information. No one wants to be spammed with information in their email or social media from some company that just wants to promote their latest product or service.

But on the other hand, the writer/reporter/blogger who is trying to create awesome content for their audience would love some great information and tips that really works for them.

Meanwhile, your mass media content belongs on your own website, blog, and social media platforms so that people know about it and can find it.

Compiling emails from key industry bloggers, reporters, editors and publications for your industry’s magazines, newsletters, conferences etc is a place to start. You’ll be tempted to send an email blast to them all at once. Don’t do it. Instead, work to develop a relationship. Read their content. Any email or phone call you make to them needs to be directly for them. You’ll need to write a pitch email with an angle that matches their specific needs in addition to providing the press release.

Tracking the Results of a Press Release