How to Choose A Press Release Service: 5 Important Questions to Answer Before Shopping for Vendors

A press release service makes a challenging task of distributing releases an easy one.  

Figuring out how to make a story newsworthy, and measuring the metrics is a tough job and it’s where a press release distribution service comes in.

There are wide choices in the market. You only have to pick the one that can help achieve your goals and provide the greatest offer.

Basically, you need to assess your needs first before dealing with any newswire. It is a requirement too before you compare the paid release services. Without proper evaluation, you may neglect the important factors that you need to consider when choosing a service and just focus on the less important one.

Here are 5 guide questions that can help you in assessing your needs. These will help you in deciding which vendor to choose for your distribution.

You’re more likely to succeed with the right wire service. At the end of the campaign, results are not only measured by the number of reads, clicks or traffic. You need to ensure that you have a high return-on-investment (ROI).

Question # 1: Who is your target audience?

Make sure that you know the target audience that you want to reach. You need to classify it by geography, demography, or industry.

Create a media list. It will help in knowing who to reach out if you already have a list in mind. Research is key to a successful media list.

Industry-specific: If you want to reach journalists in a particular industry, you need to pick a distribution provider that offers industry-specific list. For instance, if you want to be visible to journalists covering the fashion industry, you need to work with services that send your news to the industry.

Local, regional and national market: Choose a provider that can help you reach local, regional, or national reporters and media outlets.

Multicultural: If you prefer to reach a more specific target market (ethnic groups) like Hispanic, Native American, African American, or North American Chinese, you need to pick a wire service that is capable of providing this requirement.

International: If you want to pursue the international market, choose a service that can provide it. It must be able to connect with international media and provide translations in another language. Your story can be translated into another language so that more people can read and access it.

Demographics and culture: Your provider must meet your demographics and culture needs. It must target audience by age, gender, lifestyle, job, and religion.

You can further do this by defining your buyer personas. Do you want to reach working moms, single men, or non-working adults? Do you prefer male than female? Is religion important in your campaign?

You need to be specific as possible in order to reach the right audience. The more specific you can be, the more likely that your campaign will succeed.

To boost traffic, conversion rates, and visibility: If you want to increase traffic, conversion rates, and visibility, you need to choose a service that can provide it. The provider that you are going to choose should have online authority to help your site to show up on the search results. It must have a wide network to syndicate your news more visibility.

Question # 2: What is your goal?

Before you even write your release, you need to establish your goal. For this particular campaign, what do you want to achieve? You should have a goal in mind and work towards it.

  • To improve online visibility: The wire service must have a wide network of journalists and media outlets that will allow you to have maximum exposure. Your news must appear on Google News, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines. It provides social media integration for better visibility.
  • To earn media coverage: Do you want to earn publicity? It’s an instant tactic to gain wide visibility, build your reputation, and boost your sales eventually. Pick a service that has a good connection with the media. It must deliver your news directly to the newsroom and editorial systems of the media who matter to you. The service must also help the brand and influencers to connect with the media. Choosing a service that can help you in this aspect is important because Nielsen research found that people trust earned media than owned and paid media.
  • To boost visibility: Every business wants to become visible in the industry. Studies found that 85 percent of consumers research first before buying online. Work with a service that has online authority in order for you to get visible for your target audience.
  • To improve engagement: Choose a service that can improve your engagement with your target audience. The service must provide social media sharing tools to improve your engagement and exposure. Your audience must find it easy to share your content via social media. Consider a service that allows the inclusion of visuals like images or videos to boost engagement.
  • To acquire a new audience. The provider must help you acquire new customers by distributing releases via different channels. It must have a network that can connect with your target audience and can distribute your news to more channels (websites, newspaper, magazines, TV, and radio).

Question # 3: What features are important to you?

Addition of multimedia: One way to make a story compelling are images and videos. If this also matters to your campaign, ensure that you’re choosing a service that allows embedding of multimedia in your content. It is also a great way to become visible on Google Images.

Newsroom: Before, only popular brands can afford their own newsrooms. However, now it is very easy to set up your own with the help of distribution service. Pick a wire service like Newswire that features newsrooms or press rooms as part of their package. When you have a platform to showcase your releases and other stories, you’ll be in the thoughts of the media. You can develop a meaningful relationship with them.

Traditional and national reach: If you want to reach journalists and media outlets in the local and national level, make sure that the service you’ve chosen can offer this.

Add-on: Do you need extra services aside from distribution? It’s one thing that you must look for if you want to take advantage of its other features. There are services that also provide media monitoring, media outreach, or next day distribution without added cost.

Writing service: Not all brands have their own content team. If this an issue, choose a press release distribution company that provides the writing service. Ask for samples of their work and how long is their turnaround time.

Question # 4: What are your expectations?

The reason why you’re going to use a newswire again after one campaign is when it met your expectations. What expectations do you have for the service?

Improve user-experience: Are you looking for a service that provides an easy and fast distribution process? Does it make you feel at ease, or at lost because you are confused with its interface? Do they allow scheduling of releases according to your choice? Can you edit the published content after it goes live?

Guidance in the editorial process: Do they have an editorial assistant who can help you in checking your content before publishing? This is important especially when you’re a startup in issuing releases or if you don’t have your own content team. If this thing matters to you, check this with them before booking a service.

Cooperative and approachable customer service: Look for a wire service that has cooperative and approachable customer service. Is there someone to ask questions or handle your requests? Are they helpful throughout the process?

Time of service: One thing that you need to consider is their time of service. If your brand operates at night, is there someone to handle your inquiries 24 x 7? Are you looking for a service that has a fast turnaround time? If this is your concern, don’t forget this when you inquire.

Question # 5:  How do you assess the outcome?

Assessing the campaign is a critical part of the process. Without monitoring important metrics, you will not know the results, what works and not, and the mistakes to avoid.

Check a provider that offers tracking or analytics report. You need to know how your campaign performed. You need to know who picked up your news, click-through rates, engagement rates, open rates, or traffic.

By knowing these details, you can improve your next campaign. You’ll be able to avoid the errors and keep the things that helped you reached success.

Before selecting any service, ask how they provide a tracking report. Is it part of their plan or you need to pay extra to get it?

When you know the results, you’re able to evaluate your ROI. If it’s successful or not, you have to know the metrics that impact the results.

You have to know if you can export data for analysis. Are they going to discuss the results with you?

These 5 questions can guide you in deciding when choosing a press release service. Do you have other considerations to share?

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