When distributing news releases on your own, you save the money it would cost to have a service do it. You can also be more targeted in your efforts than a service would be. Some services’ lists could be outdated or incomplete. Their lists of reporters and editors might not be comprehensive and might not have been updated. On the other hand, some services could make sure your news release is taken more seriously. A reporter who recognizes the name of the service might be more receptive than if the release were to come from an unknown company. Using a service is bound to save you a lot of time.
If you decide to send your news releases on your own, you have to build a list of journalists. When reading publications that you’d like to be covered in, look for the names of reporters and find out their contact information. If you don’t know whom to send a news release to at any publication, you can always call and ask for the name of the appropriate editor. Subscribe to a personalized news service to receive articles about your industry. This is a great way to find the names of journalists who might be interested in what you have to say.
There are a number of online resources to assist you in building your newsdistribution list. Mediafinder (http://www.mediafinder.com) is a Web site that provides access to a database of thousands of media outlets including magazines, journals, newspapers, newsletters, and catalogues. Cision (http://us.cision.com) is a public relations resource that has detailed profiles on more than 20,000 media contacts, including their phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses, and work preferences. They also have editorial calendars that tell you who will be writing a scheduled story, what the topic of the story is, and when it will be written.
There are a number of news release distribution services online. Several of them are listed in the Internet Resources section of my Web site, referenced at the end of this chapter.