Remember those humorless military twins in Good Morning Vietnam? These military intelligence drones were constantly redlining or editing the news that shock joc, Adrian Cronauer, portrayed by Robin Williams, wanted to read on the air. The reports came across the tele-type or wire service. While your news may not turn the tide of a war or soften the image of the US to the public, you nonetheless want to try to get your message in as many of the right places as possible.
A little thing called the Internet
Modern day wire services have a tremendous advantage over their predecessors; a little thing called the Internet. No longer are you limited to a copy boy/girl sitting inside a news room waiting to tear freshly printed headlines of the big black box printer in the corner. The advantage is the rapid impact on your brand’s search engine optimization or “find-ability” on the World Wide Web. Think Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Wire services now automatically push your news to their partner news associations. This and the “lasts forever” factor of the Internet make your news stay around longer than the print edition of today’s newspaper (assuming you did not run over that paper on your way out the driveway this morning). Herein sits the issue. Is it “wire worthy”
If you are looking to impact search and search alone, the simple answer is yes. If your motives are deeper, such as garnering a feature story, reporter site visit or fostering a stronger relationship with an editor, then you might choose a more personal follow up.
What do you really want to happen?
While not the main subject of this article, note that sending a release is not the only way to build name recognition via media. The easiest way to look at this is to examine your release goal. What do you want to happen when someone/anyone reads this release? Do you want simple regurgitation of your copy, the reporter to call for an interview or to be featured on their cover? Wire services are good for getting targeted media to be more aware of your firm, but consider “servicing” the release or what we call old fashioned follow up.
All services offer distribution options for you to choose. Is your news specific to a region, state or country? Specific targeting also exists by industry sector, type of news outlet and reporter titles. Choose carefully, as the more you expand your reach, the more you impact your budget. The services also provided ever-increasing data about your news, who is seeing it, from where and even what browser they are using. This data is an absolute must share with your SEO Team.
You get what you pay for
While it would not be fair to compare and contrast all the service choices, know that you often get what you pay for. More established services with editorial teams and 24/7 customer service are some of the factors to look for while choosing pay to play distribution. Ask them what they do to impact the optimization of the release. How often is their journalist database updated? Do they proof read and even make editorial/grammar corrections? What about their security policies (many of the services have been duped into releasing invalidated or downright detrimental news). If they are strict with you, it’s for your own protection.
Can you accomplish your goals without a wire service? Certainly. It all depends on the tactics and tools your publicity team is choosing to employ.
Rob Felber, President of Felber Public Relations & Marketing is responsible for the development and implementation of measurable advertising and public relations campaigns for manufacturers. RobFelber@felberpr.com or (330) 963-3664