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Why didn’t my press release receive any coverage?

There are two basic elements of any media relations exercise.

Firstly, there’s the story you’re trying to tell. In this case you chose to present the story in the form of a press release. Without seeing the release, I can’t pass comment on that.

I can, however, address the second basic element: the channel you used to communicate this story – a press release distribution service.

These ‘newswires’ promise a lot. For a fee – which varies dramatically depending on who you use – these services will, if you believe the marketing spiel, put your story in front of a plethora of influential bloggers and journalists who cover your industry.

In theory, it’s an excellent solution: companies and PR agencies can reach all the right people with a couple of clicks of a mouse key (and several hundred pounds).

In practice, it doesn’t work. Yes, you might get automatically syndicated on Yahoo Finance and yes there’s some value in the SEO juice these syndications provide, but if your goal is to reach top journalists and generate solid editorial coverage, this approach simply won’t work.

No blogger or journalist worth his or her salt finds stories on press release distribution sites.

Instead, they rely on companies and agencies working harder and thinking smarter to cut through the noise by tailoring story pitches to fit their ‘beat’.

It’s for this reason that the traditional press release is fast becoming a redundant weapon in the PR arsenal.

Next time you have something to shout about, you’d be much better off pitching a story that’s tailored to a relevant media outlet, rather than blasting out something generic and hoping it sticks.