Press Release Distribution for Maximum Media Pickup

Bernetta writes:

I’m old and new in the business. That is, I was in the business for a long time and have been away from PR for more than seven years. I believe folks are emailing press releases today rather than snail-mailing them. Is that correct? And if I don’t have the budget to use your service, what is the best way to get my press release out?

Mickie responds:

The best way to distribute a press release is to take your newsworthy announcement and put it in the hands of the five or six key media who cover your industry. That isn’t easy for most people. It involves research, not to mention gaining physical access to these journalists without incurring a restraining order or backlash. That’s why people turn to PR firms who pull out their personal media contacts and lean on these key media by phone, email, fax, and face-to-face meetings. You can do this as well. Target key media and develop relationships with them so that when you have a newsworthy announcement, they will listen to your pitch. You can also try local media who cover your industry. These are easy relationships to build. They cost nothing more than time.

Another method that even the best PR firms use is the newswire. A press release newswire, like industry leader PR Newswire, offers a cost-efficient way of blasting your press release to newsrooms and media nationwide. There is a lot of competition on the newswire but it remains a quick, easy way to get media pickup from journalists with whom you have no relationship, as well as exposure to online databases, blogs, rss feeds, etc. The downside is that a true Tier-1 newswire distribution costs serious money.

There are lesser “newswires” but most lack the infrastructure of newswire feeds in newsrooms across the country, relying on an Internet presence and/or piggybacking other news services. They cost less, but they are removed from the daily routines of journalists, who routinely check one to two Tier-1 newswires at most. It’s no secret journalists are overworked and underpaid. Could they visit dozens of websites and pull content from dozens of different sources? Sure. But real world experience says otherwise.

Email. Yeah, email works but here’s the rub: spam and whitelisting influences whether your press release will ever get read. If the press release service claims an email database of hundreds of thousands of media, it’s safe to assume these journalists have no relationship to this company. For example, eReleases, which pioneered email distribution of press releases to subscribing journalists 11 years, has a database of approximately 40,000. If you decide to email your press release yourself, you need to do it as targeted and personal as possible so it doesn’t appear as a bulk piece of impersonal email. Ideally, it would be great if you researched each journalist. Try writing them as follows:


I just read your article, “ABC Corp. Opens New Downtown Warehouse,” and felt you would be interested to know that we just expanded our headquarters and fulfillment center on the corner of Main Street and First Avenue. I have included a press release we will be issuing later this week and would welcome the opportunity to talk with you directly about our company’s expansion. In addition, I would also like to extend an invitation to tour our state-of-the-art facility at your convenience.

In conclusion, if you can afford a great PR firm, go for it. What they do cannot be easily replicated by any technology or website. At the heart of it, public relations is about relationships. Note that a newswire maintains an integral part of any press release campaign, including those handled by the best of PR firms. If you decide to email the press release yourself, remember to stick with quality-of-message over quantity of media outlets. Be personal and on task. A well-drafted email, or even a snail-mail letter, to six key journalists can result in much more media coverage than an impersonal email blasted to hundreds of thousands of journalists. In fact, the latter could result in angry journalists and ill-will towards your company.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit:

8 Responses

  1. Meilee says:

    Mickie, thanks for continuing to share your insight. I appreciate you.

  2. Rosemary says:

    These are great tips, but I hear all the time, “build relationships with journalists.” Can you expand on that further? It’s not like you can call up Joe Journalist and say “Hi, I’d like to build a relationship with you.” What’s the best strategy for getting to know them in a less artificial way?

  3. prfuel says:


    You build relationships in the same way you would build friendships. You email your praise to journalists for any of their work you feel is great: “I really loved your article today on the banking industry. I see very few writers focusing on the explosion of commercial real estate with banks closing down and consolidating in the downtown area.” You also can call them out when you feel they are wrong: “Bob, I love you but you really got it wrong in today’s article about the surplus of local commercial office space. The fact is NOT that too much capacity is being caused by new construction. The fact is consolidation in the banking and real estate arena represents the bulk of that surplus not to mention the city’s loss of two major companies who have relocated their headquarters in the past six months.”

    You provide tips and resources that the journalists might not know (where being obvious is not appreciated): “I was thinking of your recent series of articles on the need for oversight in the banking arena. You might not be aware of this but the American Bankers Association has just announced they will be doing a special session on this very same issue at their regional conference next month. If you would be interested in attending or would like me to check with them about getting a transcript of the session, feel free to give me a call.”

    The thing you will notice is that you’re not trying to get anything out of the relationship. You’re trying to establish a real connection where you make their life easier, you read and appreciate what they write, and you create goodwill that you can later tap by putting a press release or interview request in front of them.

  4. Rosemary says:

    Thank you so much for your response! That might just be the single most actually helpful piece of PR advice I’ve ever read. Now that I read it, it seems obvious, but seeing it succinctly really helps.

  5. I’ve been in marketing for many years, and normally hire a PR professional for client’s projects. I’m launching another business and want to do the PR myself. Your site is very helpful. Thank you. I’m starting by building my list! Any suggestions there?

  6. We have tried every kind of Press Release Distribution imaginable. Folks, take it from ,me after 32 years in the equipment leasing business I decided we can’t do this properly in-house.

    eRelease it absolutely without a doubt the best service on the planet. Stop wasting your money and start investing in a service that will help you build your business.

    In my opinionpPaid advertising will never perform as well as a properly written press release.

  7. PR Fuel says:

    Thanks Richard!

    – Mickie

  8. James says:

    A great tip for monitoring & tracking the pick ups of your PR is by using a simple service called ( I’ve been using it for a while now and it saved me A LOT of time.

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