There’s always a popular theme in the relationship between the marketing department and the PR agency: “You have to follow up after you send out the press release to increase the number of releases!” What is a completely natural measure for the marketer should, however, be avoided at all costs when communicating with editors. Instead, the aim must be to supply the individual addressees with precisely the information that really interests them. To stay in marketing parlance: You have to build a profiled One2One communication.

Why “following up” is one of the great deadly sins in press relations is very easy to see from a journalist’s day-to-day work – especially if he or she works for the trade press. In the course of the cost-cutting measures that have accompanied the editorial offices for years, this daily routine is primarily characterized by an above-average workload. The number of colleagues has steadily decreased, while the areas of responsibility have become much more diverse and extensive. This also results in an ever-increasing flood of information, which is primarily reflected in the inbox of the e-mail account. However, according to the results of the Cision Media Report 2022, more than half of the incoming topic suggestions are completely irrelevant. So here you have to filter quickly what could be important for the online and print channels, the rest ends up immediately in the trash. Even if only the senders of information relevant to the editorial department were to “follow up,” the telephone in the editorial department would hardly stand still. And it’s dangerous: Nearly half of the journalists surveyed in the Cision Media Report 2022 would permanently block annoying “followers.”

Build up press distribution list in a differentiated way

Press releases are still one of the most important sources for journalistic reporting. That’s why the entry into the profiled Onr2One communication pays off quickly here. The key here is to think from the topic when setting up. But not of the overall topic, but much more differentiated. The topic of “construction”, for example, has many facets: It can be “architecture”, “building construction” or “civil engineering”, “plumbing and heating”, “energy-efficient renovation” or even “landscaping” in the outdoor area. Accordingly, the distributors must then also look. The aim is not to address as many addressees as possible, but only those for whom the respective subtopic is actually relevant. As a result, we have to work with many small distributors. And: Depending on the medium, the individual editors are included in several of these small distribution lists.

Mix manifold

In order to actually be able to build up a profiled One2One communication, it is indispensable to be able to quickly merge the many small topic distributors into larger ones. Because, of course, there is content that is interesting for members of different distribution lists. This does not only apply to specialist topics: There are also topics that could be of interest to a specialist editorial team as well as to the local daily press, for example. So it’s a matter of simply mixing different distributors. Of course, no duplicates should be created in the process. Even if addressees are included in several of the merged distribution lists, they should of course be contacted only once. Otherwise, it also immediately becomes clear that, on the one hand, contact data is handled carelessly and, on the other hand, the flood of mails is increased completely unnecessarily.

Such a differentiated approach is a real challenge that many of the software systems in use quickly fail to meet. With Excel or Outlook, you are in a lost position here anyway. But this is also where most PR software and PR management providers reach their limits. One reason for this is that the workflow of these systems is not designed with this in mind. Especially with solutions that have large address databases in the background, the respective current selection is in the foreground. Understandably so, since that is one of the outstanding features of such a solution. Of course, you can also save individual distribution lists here, but it becomes more and more tedious the more differentiated these distribution lists become. And mixing them easily and quickly is complicated to impossible. With our PR software PressFile, we have therefore chosen a completely different approach. It is completely based on the logical flow of a press release:

  1. Select press distribution list
  2. Simply click to merge the respective distribution lists in the middle column. This does not create duplicates
  3. Launch email editor to design and fill the mailing
  4. Start dispatch, personalized individual mails are generated for each addressee

In fact, this makes it very easy to implement interest-based One2One communication. This is an essential component for the success of press relations, because 74 percent of journalists feel annoyed by irrelevant topic suggestions. This is also a result of the Cision study.

Note: Cision is one of PressFile’s competitors. However, the Cision State of Media Report 2022 is an excellent analysis that every PR professional should take a look at. That’s why we have exceptionally linked the download page. Please note that you need to provide personal information there before downloading. However, you are welcome to do that with us as well. Click here for the contact form and newsletter registration