Have you written a press release about your pet business but are struggling for ideas on how to get it out there?
Maybe you’re considering using a distribution service to send it out to the media?
If you don’t have the budget to hire a PR consultant or firm but want to get your business known, worry not, there is a lot you can do yourself.
And if you’ve just started dipping your toe into trying to get media coverage, you are the best person to be doing the leg work.
Last weekend I saw a post on social media about distribution services.
I thought it would be helpful to do a post explaining how they work and what the best options are as a petpreneur if you decide to use one.
What is a Press Release Distribution Service?
These are services and websites where you upload your press release and it’s automatically sent out to lots of media organisations.
Sometimes referred to as ‘news wires,’ they push our content to newspapers, radio and TV stations, magazines, websites and blogs all over the world.
Content falls into different categories such as health, finance, technology, consumer, energy and the environment.
You choose the category that best fits your business and your press release will be sent to journalists writing about that specialist topic.
How much does a Press Release Distribution Service cost?
Prices vary, but there are free options. Make sure you research these and perhaps ask for recommendations from other business owners who have used them successfully.
Does the Press Release Distribution Service write my press release for me?
No, in most cases you have to write the press release yourself or pay someone to do it for you.
What Press Release Distribution services would you recommend?
Your press release will be sent out to thousands of journalists via e mail.
For the starter package at £85 you can choose up to three categories.
It costs an additional £20 per image and you receive a report after your release has been sent.
Find out more: www.responsesource.com
Vuelio offers a streamlined press release distribution service where you can create, schedule and send a press release to targeted journalists.
Releases are sent to 3,500 most visited news website and their software enables you to track where your release has appeared.
Their database enables you to find out journalists interested in your story and shares how they like to be contacted.
For pricing, visit: www.vuelio.com
Cision’s PR Newswire was established over 60 years ago and reaches 170 countries worldwide.
They deliver content to regional and national newspapers, magazines, TV and Radio stations and websites and have 36,000 active users per month.
Again you can target journalists depending on geography, interests and topics.
Learn more at: www.prnewswire.co.uk
If you have a press release already written, a great and very reasonably priced option is Dakota Digital who will distribute your release for £50.
Run by former journalist Rebecca Appleton, they have 1.2 million contacts worldwide and will send out your press release to targeted journalists (I get their pet related press releases).
They also proof read your press release.
Check out the options at: www.dakotadigital.co.uk
Does using a Press Release Distribution Service guarantee my story will be used?
Now for the bad news – no it doesn’t. When your press release is received, it will say PR or Press Release in the subject line.
You can choose your own headline but there is nothing you can do to make a journalist use your press release or even open it.
What’s the alternative?
You can create your OWN media list which is what I teach on my Publicity for Pet Businesses online programme.
Find journalists who are going to be interested in what you do, who are in your area, and who will want to hear from you.
The best thing to do is get out and find places to pitch to yourself and get on the phone.
It’s what Karen Boyce from Beastly Thoughts did with her story about winning an Animal Star Award.
She appeared on BBC Radio Shropshire and is in her local paper later this week.
Journalists aren’t bothered about press releases – they want STORIES!
Journalists get hundreds of press releases every day. But what they need are stories to fill their paper, magazine or radio or TV show.
Your chance of success will be vastly increased if you go to a journalist with a great story which they can share with their readers.
They have papers, radio and TV shows to fill and being approached with newsworthy and interesting stories makes their life easier.
Want to work on this?
It’s about being creative and working out angles.
Here are some examples from some clients and charities I have worked with to secure media coverage:
Becky Baker K9Nation app founder: Do you have post puppy depression?
Dominic Hodgson, Worry Free Walks author: Why dog owners need to make themselves interesting
Street Paws/StreetVet homeless animal charities: Meet the vets treating homeless dogs
Mad About Schnauzers: Meet the grandmother knitting to help puppy farmed dogs
If you’d like to discuss working together, you can e mail me on the contact form here.
And for regular tips and media opportunities be sure to join my FREE Facebook group, Publicity Tips for Pet Businesses here.Further reading: How to pitch a story idea around Crufts Five journalists who WILL be interested in your story