Susan Shelby, FSMPS, CPSM President & CEO Rhino PR
Are you looking to increase awareness? Receive more media pick up and reach new audiences? If so, then a wire distribution service may be just the tool you need to generate more visibility for your firm.
In 1954, PR Newswire transmitted the first electronic commercial news release. A lot has changed in the world since then, but over 60 years later PR Newswire continues as the largest international distribution network. PR Newswire guarantees that your release will be distributed to thousands of websites along with traditional media in your targeted regional area, industry trade publications, and the wire service’s website, where vetted journalists will have access to the content.
The process is simple:
- The completed press release is uploaded along with any multimedia attachments
- PR Newswire editors edit and process it for distribution, including coding for relevant industry types
- The coded release is then distributed to your targeted list, reaching news organizations, individual reporters and bloggers, websites, financial networks, search engines, and mobile devices around the world
The release is then monitored and key metrics are tracked with detailed reports available and updated for up to 365 days.
PR Newswire monitors each release and compiles visibility reports detailing key metrics. Each release is compared to other releases in the same industry and approximate timeframe and scaled from one to 100 against these benchmarks, with a score of 50 considered average. Your release will gain powerful exposure from earned media, and engagement metrics will be tracked in real time. The most noteworthy reports generated include:
Pickup shows which online outlets and Twitter handles picked up your news release, either an exact match (full text) pickup from online and social media, or tweets and retweets containing a link to your release on PR Newswire. On average, 200 to 250 websites pick up each release. The total potential audience exposed to your content is calculated by adding the average number of visitors per day to each online site with the number of followers for each Twitter handle.
This section also includes pickup broken out by day since your content was distributed, total pickup by source type (broadcast media, newspapers, Twitter, news and information services, trade pubs or other) and industry. Online sources are further ranked by Klout score, a rating based on how influential a user is on social media based on the size of its network and how much interaction its content receives.
The traffic tab captures the total number of views your release received broken down into views of your release and any video, audio, images, or documents accompanying it. This section also tracks web crawler hits to define how many times your release was discovered by a search engine robot and indicates how many times it was listed on the first page of a search. A great benefit of this section is that it also shows the search engine keywords visitors used to find your release.
It is important to remember that not all traffic is captured, as not all websites share their postings and, unless the content is shared with a direct link to the release on the wire distribution website, any shares on social media will not be reflected in the traffic section. Typically, 250 of the 4,500 websites that receive the release will be reported.
This report details demographic data on which identifiable audiences generated traffic to your release, including the industries covered and media types of the journalists and bloggers who reviewed your release. One very interesting tidbit about this report is that it grants you the ability to see which organizations besides the media read your release – that includes competitors, vendors, and even potential clients. This is a great source of new leads for marketing professionals, and an intriguing way to see which competitors are monitoring your work.
The engagement section reveals how people are interacting with your release – the total amount of shares, tweets, downloads, and click-throughs to the links included in your release. Engagement can be further viewed by date.
General Wire Distribution Tips
Strong writing skills and standard press release format are key elements of any release. There are additional factors to consider when preparing a release for wire distribution, including:
- Newsworthy content. This applies to all releases, whether distributed in a traditional way or via a wire distribution service. However, the wider audience elevates the importance of having meaningful material. PR Newswire suggests the following for consideration:
- Is your angle different from other similar stories and/or does it offer a unique perspective?
- Does your message contain new information, even if it’s about an older subject?
- Can your message bring light to a problem or issue, or, conversely, provide a resolution to a problem or issue?
- Does your message carry emotional weight with bloggers and other readers?
- Does your message involve or quote a famous or high-powered person?
- Does your message impact the geographical location or environment of the reader base?
- Analyze actionable capacity. The goal is to have people engage with the content – to share, retweet, download, click-through the links. Position your content in a compelling way that will make people want to interact to expand your engagement.
- Include visual assets. The more multimedia elements that accompany your release, the more views you will receive. Attaching photos, videos, and/or downloadable files significantly increases readership. One visual asset increases visibility by 92%; two by a stunning 552%.
- Avoid certain times. It is best to avoid distributing your release at 9:30 am and 4:00 pm EST when the markets open and close. Sending at an odd time, such as 7:53 am as opposed to 8:00 am, also raises your visibility.
- Boost your social media presence. The distribution fee includes a free tweet on your firm’s personal Twitter handle. This is a great way to boost your release on social media. Another great free tool is clicktotweet.com, which allows a quote to be easily shared and tracked by creating a tweetable link to your chosen message within the body of your release.
Raise your reach with wire distribution services to help generate a buzz around your news. Your messages will be more readily discovered thanks to a wide network of targeted media lists and placement on high traffic websites.