I Heard It From The PR Girl

Chapter 10: Distributing News to the Media

Posted in Reading Notes by laurynwilliams on March 30, 2010

This chapter focuses on selecting the appropriate channels of distribution that will ensure that your materials reach the intended audience.

Media Databases provide:

  1. mailing addresses
  2. telephone and fax numbers
  3. names of publications and broadcast stations
  4. e-mail addresses
  5. names of key editors and reporters

An example:  Cision publishes Bacon’s media directories and two regional directories, Bacon’s Metro California Media and Bacon’s New York Publicity Outlets.

Ruth McFarland, senior vice president of Cision, told O’Dwyer’s PR Report, “The paradox of PR media research is that less is more; the fewer entries you have in your database of regular contacts, the better your results will be.”

Editorial Calendars

These tell you when to approach publications with specific kinds of stories. Certain issues have a special editorial focus.

“Special issues are used to attract advertising, but news stories and features on the subject are also needed.”

MyEdcals has a Google-like database that tracts editorial calendars of about 7,000 publications.


Snail mail has not disappeared from the publicist’s tool kit. Daily delivery of press materials may be prefered by small town weeklies with limited internet access.

Primary Distribution Channels:

  1. e-mail
  2. online newsrooms
  3. electronic newswires
  4. mat distribution companies or feature placement firms
  5. photo placement firms

Fax and CD-ROMs are still used as well.

Remember to keep it short when sending a news release via e-mail, because reporters hate to scroll through multiple screens.

Online newsrooms are often the first place journalists turn for basic information on an organization.

The three major newswires are Business Wire, PR Newswire, and Marketwire.

All material here is quoted or paraphrased from Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques (6th Ed.)


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