How To Build Your Press Release Distribution List

Press Release distribution illustration

In the public relations and marketing field, you should never underestimate the power of an excellently executed press release distribution. Even to this day, when various digital marketing techniques have been discovered, a press release remains a powerful marketing tool aimed at improving a business’ exposure hire and brand awareness. In fact, press release campaigns should be a staple in every business’ marketing make-up. Not only does it work on its own, but it also improves the overall marketing campaigns of a business.

However, creating a press release distribution campaign that will work is far from easy. First, you need to ensure you write a newsworthy press release. And second, you need a proper distribution method, so the press release gets the maximum exposure. Both facets of a PR distribution are equally important and should have balance. For example, it doesn’t matter if you have a stellar news copy if it isn’t distributed through the right channels. And it is the same if you do an excellent distribution campaign if your press release isn’t newsworthy enough.

And one of the best ways to ensure your press release is successful is by building your own Press Release Distribution list. These days, you can have complete power over who you send your news copies to. Instead of taking the painstaking process of newswire distribution, today, thanks to the power of the internet, you yourself can submit your press releases to a highly-targeted list of media entities, journalists, bloggers, and key influencers.

Building and developing your press release distribution list is an ongoing and evolving process. In time, you’ll be able to build a list with personalities and influencers you’ve developed relationships with who already recognize your business and your brand. In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about creating and growing your own media list for press release distribution.

What is a press release distribution list?

A press release distribution list is a compilation of names and contact information of various media, editors, journalists, and bloggers who are essential to your business. A well-maintained and up-to-date media list are critical in ensuring that your press release campaigns are successful.

What program should you use for this list?

The good thing about this is you don’t need special or expensive software to create and maintain your list on. All you need is a simple Excel spreadsheet.

Who should your press release distribution list contain?

Before building your list, you must first consider what kind of media or which media are to be included in your contact list. Ultimately, your selection should be dependent on the type of content your press releases are about. In PR distribution, your first instinct might be to send your press release to as many people as you can. However, it is the quality of your media contacts that can make or break your PR campaigns, not the quantity.

For example, information that is directly related to your company like “open days” or mass recruitment, discount days on your local stores and anything related to this are of primary interest local or regional media entities in your vicinity. And it shouldn’t be a list containing only online and print media as well. Your list should still include people from radio and TV stations as well. News about any new innovative industry developments or products, meanwhile, might spark the interest of the specialist press.

For your local press release distribution list, make sure to include freelance journalists in your area and local media. This list may include:

  • Local daily and regional daily newspapers containing various local supplements.
  • Town magazines as well as local newsletters.
  • Local online web portals
  • Advertising publications. These are often distributed throughout local neighborhoods free of charge. It’s important to note, however, that although advertising supplements have higher circulation rates, they are chock full of adverts and may have very little editorial value.
  • Local radio stations and DJs or online podcasts in specific local areas.
  • Local television network stations

But how many media contacts should be on your list? It depends on both your press release topics and the media concentration in your state or region. However, we’ll give you a ballpark number. Let us say for example that you’ve built long-term and personal contact with about 8 to 15 journalists; you should count yourself successful. Remember, in press release distribution, “Quality over quantity” should be your number one motto.

What sort of information should your press release distribution list include?

In separate columns, make sure to include the following relevant details:

  • Media Name
  • Media Type (Daily Local Newspaper. Advertising Supplement, TV Station, Online News Website, Town Magazine, Radio Stations, etc.)
  • Media’s Area Of Focus (Local, Regional, Nationwide, Global)
  • Estimated Reach and Frequency (Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly)
  • Name and Title Of Contact Person
  • If appropriate, the Position of Contact Person (e.g., Lifestyle Editor, Editor-In-Chief)
  • Email Address of First Point Of Contact
  • Email Addresses of Editorial Staff (if applicable)
  • Landline and Extension Number
  • If appropriate, Twitter, LinkedIn, Xing handles of contact person
  • Fax Numbers
  • Complete Address
  • Official Website URL
  • If applicable, any information regarding the media entity’s working methods – editorial meetings, deadlines, etc.
  • Comment Section

These days, press releases are mostly sent through emails. However, you should still consider recording as much possible information you can. It’s particularly important to have as many possible ways to contact particular journalists with, should email not be a sufficient enough method. In fact, calling or even setting up a meeting may save you time later, should you want to send your press releases to a particular journalist personally.

How do you find the best people for your list?

As mentioned before, building up an excellent press release distribution takes time. For a good start, you should look at some daily newspapers, advertising publications, magazines, local radio and television stations, online media websites, social media platforms, etc. These contacts should be established and significant in your locality. You may also conduct an extended search using online portals and free media databases on the internet. There are also online press release directories available on the internet, and they are typically worth sifting through.

How do you build a solid press release distribution list?

  1. Keep your list up-to-date. It’s important to remember that points of contact in the media industry change very quickly. It’s crucial that you follow-up and update your list frequently, at least once a year.
  2. Build relationships with the people on your media list. It’s also essential that you try to stay on good terms with the people on your list. When these media entities are familiar with you and your business, they’re kinder towards publishing your press releases.

Don’t have the time to develop and maintain a press release distribution list yourself?

Don’t worry. If you don’t have the time to curate your own press release distribution list, there are actually experts who would gladly offer their expertise. Nowadays, you can assign a press distributor for your business. These services will distribute your press release to the right target channels, including the most authoritative media entities in the country. It’s also possible to use