How To Drive Media Coverage Using a Newswire Service (And Beyond)
by Michelle Garrett on May 4, 2023 3:32:00 PM
While press releases are an effective way for companies to get their news and announcements out, some may not understand how a newswire service works and its benefits.
“If companies don’t use a newswire service, they may not understand how that benefits them,” says Karen Yu, Global Head of Media Relations, at Notified, owners of GlobeNewswire. “By using a service to help distribute your news, companies can build brand awareness, reach new audiences and drive earned media.”
First, let’s take a closer look at what happens when you issue your press release using a wire service.
How Does a Newswire Service Work?
When a company writes a press release and uploads it to a newswire service, what’s included in the cost? And how does the process work?
First, the release is proofed by the editorial team. In the case of GlobeNewswire, its team takes the extra step of verifying the news source.
“This is an advantage of using a wire service for press release distribution because it adds credibility to your news,” Yu says. “We verify the source of the news, which means it’s more trustworthy. Everyone tends to be more cautious these days about where they get their news. When it comes via a newswire service, it gives everyone a level of comfort, as they can rest assured it’s coming from a reliable source.”
The wire service’s editorial team also ensures that your press release looks more professional by catching typos and broken links.
Next, the release is formatted before being issued to the service’s distribution partners that syndicate it. The partners post it automatically. Finally, it appears on their sites with the disclaimer that it is a press release. While this shouldn’t be confused with an earned media story, there can be value in it for brands, says Yu.
“The press release shows up on CNN Money, Yahoo Finance and other financial news outlets,” says Yu. “For public companies, in particular, there are benefits to this.”
Publicly traded companies are required to distribute earnings releases, financial and material information to meet filing requirements.
Translation services are another option to consider if your news is going out internationally.
“GlobeNewswire press releases reach 92 countries in 35 local languages, and you can choose from more than 1,000 newslines to target your news by geography, industry, and media type,” said Yu.
The press release also goes directly to newsrooms like the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Agence France-Presse, business journals, content aggregators, financial databases, trade publications, online media, and TV and radio stations. It goes into their system to be considered for editorial use. If they decide to include information from a press release in an earned media story, reporters will often do additional research by contacting the company that issued the release.
“These news agencies also provide editorial content to their downstream clients, increasing the chances that additional media outlets will pick up the story,” says Yu. “We have relationships with these companies which helps optimize the opportunity for the news to be picked up.”
Of course, there is no guarantee of media coverage whenever a release is issued – but using a reputable wire service can help increase the odds because more people are viewing the content.
“Journalists are busy and need to get a story done and move on,” says Yu. “By providing a press release that’s well written, along with a visual or photo, you make it easy for them to cover your news.”
Multimedia elements can be included to add value further. Including video, audio, photos, or infographics can help draw more attention to your press release. Including a photo with your press release increases the odds it will be remembered. Adding an image increases recall by 65%.
“We format all that for our distribution partners so there are no glitches as far as downloading multimedia assets,” says Yu. “For example, if you want to include a video that appears on your corporate YouTube channel, you don’t need to understand how to format it properly. We do that for you, so you don’t need the technical knowledge.”
“Including compelling visual content creates a nice package for the journalist. It’s all right there, which helps save them time. This is so important as newsrooms and staffs continue to shrink,” Yu says.
“We also have a media database team that will customize distribution lists for clients upon request,” says Yu. For example, if companies want to get their news in front of trade media, their team can customize lists based on the desired industry.
Beyond the Newswire: Pitching Your News Directly to Key Media Targets
A newswire doesn’t take the place of pitching the news to your media contacts directly, says Yu. She suggests pitching the key publications in your industry.
“Stay engaged with those journalists,” says Yu. “Contact each one personally via email to let them know you’ve got news to share.”
And think about the message you want to include when you pitch the press release to reporters.
“After sending your release, the first thing you should do is prepare a quote or narrative to include with your pitch outreach. Tell the story. Do NOT blindly send out the release to journalists,” said Chandra Gore, publicist, Chandra Gore Consulting.
Beyond sharing the release with your media contacts, what else can you do to get the word out?
“Sending the release to media is only the first step,” says Stephanie Elsea, APR, vice president of marketing and communications, The Lustgarten Foundation. “Depending on the topic, you can send a version of the release to targeted audiences through your organization’s owned channels: email, newsletters, website and social media. Most of these give you another opportunity for a customer or donor touch.”
Tips for Success When Using a Newswire Service
After issuing a press release on the wire, what other advice should you follow? Here’s a helpful checklist:
Monitor for contact from unknown numbers or email addresses: Keep tabs and monitor your email and phone for journalists who may contact you. You may get inquiries from a reporter you don’t recognize. Be sure to be responsive. Pick up a call, even if it’s from a number you don’t recognize.
Watch for earned media coverage: You’ll want to use media monitoring to stay aware of coverage. You can use a paid service to do this. If you use a media monitoring tool, you can set up keywords or search terms to measure before and after the press release is issued to see what impact it has. For example, you can check to see if mentions of your company have increased.
Share it with your internal team – and ask them to share it: Once the press release has gone out, you should also share it internally and ask your team to share it via their social media accounts. When your internal team shares the news on social media, especially via LinkedIn or Twitter, it can gain even more exposure.
If you share earned media coverage of a press release, always be sure to tag the publication and the reporter in your social media post.
Tips for Writing a More Effective Press Release
When writing a press release, here are some additional tips to help increase the odds of a reporter reading it:
Keep the headline short and to the point. Don’t mislead people or be ambiguous. If a journalist doesn’t understand it, they’ll just move on.
Remember your purpose for writing the press release. Keep the industry in mind. In some industries, you may be able to be more creative, but in others, it’s best to keep it more professional.
Stay away from overly promotional press releases. If the content is strictly promotional, there will be push back from the newswire who will say it’s not suitable for distribution. That’s because it hurts the newswire’s credibility as well.
Be sure to include contact information, preferably that of a public relations contact who is easily accessible and will respond to an email or call in a timely fashion. Reporters may move on if there is no one to contact – or if that person is unavailable.
Have a checklist handy to refer to regarding each point you need to cover as you prepare your press release. Consider elements like the spokesperson and their contact information, visuals that you can send, customer or other third-party references if applicable, and any additional backup information that may be helpful to a reporter covering the news in the press release.
Also, as you write the press release, consider things like hyperlinks – is there a particular link you want to include to help you track views? Does the link work?
Consider having an online newsroom where you keep all your press releases and supporting elements in one place, making it easy for journalists or other interested parties like customers, investors, and partners to find the information. This tells a story, shows a cadence and momentum. It shows that this is not a one-day, one-off strategy – it’s ongoing.
Create more content from your press release. Think about writing a blog post and social media posts and including the news in your newsletter. Some companies produce podcasts, so the news would also be material to leverage there. In some cases, organizations publish print magazines, as well.
Press Release Distribution Requires a Multi-Pronged Approach
A newswire service can help give your press release distribution strategy that extra edge. Be sure to factor in all the approaches you can use to get your news out to the widest audience possible.
Think through the best strategy each time you have a news announcement on the horizon. Think about which audiences need to see this, and what’s the best way to reach them.
More About GlobeNewswire Press Release Distribution
GlobeNewswire lets you share your news with media, investors, and consumers around the world. Built for PR, IR, marketing, and agency professionals, GlobeNewswire gives you a wide range of options to help you build brand awareness, reach new audiences and drive earned media. Learn more today.