Sending out a Press Release. How Many is too Many?
To thrive and succeed as a small business, you need press coverage. Unfortunately, coverage doesn't just magically appear -- you need to work for it. Enter: the press release.
Press releases are crucial for helping your public relations and increasing your brand awareness. When you're in the market, you need to fight for your share of visibility in the psyche of consumers. With a long-term press release distribution strategy, this provides you with the opportunity to let people know about your business, what you do, how you do it, and why you do it.
You’ll stay at the top of their minds when it’s time for them to purchase a product or service you offer.
Additionally, press releases improve your brand authority. The more exposure you have on a public forum, the bigger chance of people trusting your business. About 44% of journalists also consider press releases to be the most trustworthy source of valuable brand-related information.
However, if nobody sees your release, you won't get far in getting the word out about your business. You need to distribute your press releases effectively so your stories get picked up by blogs, newspapers, and magazines.
Now that we've established the importance of gaining press coverage, the question now is...
How many press releases should you send?
When it comes to marketing, press, and public relations, people typically like to follow rules. They want to know the best time to send a press release out, which day garners the most attention, and of course -- the optimum number of press releases to send out in a year.
By rule of thumb, there's no maximum or minimum amount of press releases that a company should send out. There are companies that send out releases every day, while some only send one out once a month or even once a year. It ultimately depends on your company's needs.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should churn out as many press releases as you can. Releasing news about every little thing your company won’t be as effective as you think. You can just be pushing irrelevant news and provide no real value to readers, which are common mistakes with press releases..
How many is too many?
As mentioned before, there isn't a clear or defined set of rules to follow when it comes to the frequency or amount of press release distribution. However, there are a few factors to take into consideration.
What is your relationship with the reporter?
Have you spent time cultivating or nurturing a business agreement or even a friendship with a reporter or a publishing group? If so, you may have a clearer idea of how often to send press releases to that specific media outlet.
In fact, if you have a good relationship or know them well enough, they’ll probably just directly tell you when to send them.
If not, it's good practice to try asking anyway. If you somehow get a reporter who's not too busy, they'll tell you the optimal frequency and time to send press releases. If they don't give you an answer, try giving a journalist at least 1-2 weeks before sending a follow-up email. Then, give them at least another month before sending in another press release.
Is the news valuable or important?
It's important to mull over of your press release -- not just to you, but to the world, and most importantly, to the magazine or newspaper you want to send it to. If the news has the potential to solve current issues or to even change the world, then sending in more frequent press releases might be worth it.
If it only has some significance to your company, it might be best to hold off on it for now.
Remember, no one wants their time wasted, especially busy reporters. If they feel like you're demanding too much of their time without offering any newsworthy information, any potential partnerships can be damaged.
Before bombarding them with press releases, try to get an idea of the kind of news they gravitate to and constantly post. Often, all you have to do is ask.
Do you have an ulterior move when you send press releases?
Not too long ago, sending out press releases was seen to be an important tactic when it came to SEO services.
That is, obtaining organic traffic through natural means rather than running ads. The goal of sending press releases was to get backlinks to the site, which Google considered as a signal that a site was relevant to specific search queries. Thus, those sites ranked higher in search results.
Unfortunately, it turned into a huge scam, with some companies distributing press releases that little or no real value to anyone. They did it mainly for the sake of earning backlinks.
If you send press releases that read more like ads for your new products or they're just a way to gain backlinks for your site, chances are you won’t get many media pick-ups. Reporters want press releases that fill gaps in the current market. The more often you send press releases sound like ads or an SEO link scheme, you'll easily get blacklisted.
Why you shouldn’t send too many press releases
What's going to happen if you keep on sending out press releases that don't contain a hook or don't have truly newsworthy angles? Here are just a few potential negative ramifications:
Sacrificing quality for quantity
The secret to successful press release distribution is to send out high-quality, newsworthy press releases. Unless you have a very dedicated PR team, the problem with sending out too many multiple press releases is that quality will inevitably suffer.
You’ll end up with less interesting angles, content that doesn’t offer valuable information, and an overall shoddy final product.
Annoying recipients on a constant basis
Put yourself in the shoes of the reporter. If you received a new press release almost daily from the same persistent company, wouldn’t you start to get frustrated or annoyed?
Media relationships can be very fragile, especially if they’re not mutually beneficial, so you can’t always take an aggressive, over the top approach.
Boy who cried wolf syndrome
If you’re constantly trying to inform the media that you have a new, hot story that needs to be covered, reporters are eventually going to start ignoring you. They know you’re just throwing promises against the wall to see what sticks. It’s the typical boy who cried wolf syndrome.
Conclusion: It’s not about quantity, but quality
At what point does “sending out many press releases to gain exposure” become “I just annoyed all the journalists in my city?” It’s really when you send too many press releases that don’t offer valuable information to readers.
The key is to know and understand your target audience. Think deeply about what they’ll care about, and try to issue press releases that will appeal to them. Remember, you also want them to help spread the word about your company and the solutions you offer.
The trick isn’t to send as many press releases as you can to improve brand awareness and get your business out there -- it’s to actually make yourself newsworthy. As long as you do that on your part, your it won’t matter how many press releases you send out.
If you don't think you have anything newsworthy, start putting some thought into things you can introduce to fix that (participate in important events, run contests or promos, get involved with a charity, etc.). Every company (or organization, website, and individual) has the capability to be newsworthy. Don’t let the opportunities pass you by.
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