There are many different ways to send press releases: Microsoft Outlook & Excel, newsletter systems, the CRM that is already in use or, of course, PR software solutions such as PressFile. You can reach your target group via all these applications. However, if you really want to address your counterpart personally when sending e-mails, you should take a closer look at the different systems.
Microsoft Outlook & Excel
It is amazing how many PR agencies or press offices still manage their press distribution lists in Excel and send the press releases via Outlook. There are certainly reasons for this. Microsoft Outlook & Excel are “eh there” and thus cost nothing. One is used to dealing with these applications. And trying to inspire internal IT – if you have one – to address the needs of PR and press relations is often doomed to failure. Because there are regularly more important things for IT to do. Yet this office duo is the worst solution for press release distribution: Managing addresses in Excel, and then also in the form of specific press distribution lists, is tedious to say the least. As a result, mailing lists are reluctant to be touched and updated, and addresses become outdated. In addition, Excel distribution lists tend to become large and non-specific, because building and maintaining smaller and topic-specific distribution lists is even more tedious. However, large press distribution lists are a problem for Outlook. This is because when sending e-mails as BCC – which is still absolutely common in many places – a maximum of 50 addressees can be written to at the same time. And personalized is this form of sending at most by the unique sender, if one uses the personal mail account. Otherwise, “Dear Sir or Madam …” is the usual form of address – and thus decidedly impersonal.
The number of cloud-based newsletter solutions has increased significantly in recent years. Their charm: The addressees can be addressed in a personalized way and the basic version is mostly free of charge. This changes quickly if you want to send more emails than the free version can handle. Then the costs reach a similar level as PR solutions. In addition, the maintenance of differentiated distributors is also rather time-consuming here. Or expensive, because the number of distribution lists is also limited with many solutions in the free version. Since address maintenance is rarely carried out in the newsletter solution itself, but rather in a separate address database, the effort required to keep press distribution lists up to date at all times is by no means negligible. And as with Outlook & Excel, there are few ways to keep a contact history and thus be able to track at any time what you communicated with whom and when. It is also annoying that in many free versions the provider’s binder is automatically displayed: “This newsletter was sent with XYZ” – even if no newsletter but a press release was sent.
Customer relationship management offers numerous possibilities for personalizing communication and e-mailing and also for documenting it. The disadvantage here: Journalists, bloggers and other multipliers are neither customers nor suppliers. For the latter, however, the CRM systems are set up organizationally in the company. Key terms, classifications and other features are thus not at all suitable for press relations. And sales or marketing usually don’t find it fun at all when you start expanding the system and structure for the purposes of PR (not to mention that PR is no fun either if you work in a system where the customer and supplier view dominates and the associated structures tend to hinder rather than support day-to-day PR work).
In the case of PR software solutions, the providers pursue different strategies: A large American player sends its customers’ mails via its own mail servers and displays its abbinder with every dispatch, whether you like it or not. A German provider offers a paid flat rate for instant e-mailing. If you choose the free option, the time lag can be up to several hours (which is actually completely out of the question for a PR professional).
Personal, without advertising or additional costs
At PressFile, we’ve taken a different approach: We send personalized individual e-mails via the user’s respective e-mail account. This means that the mails are generated via PressFile and then transmitted directly to the customer’s mail server. From there, they are then sent to the respective recipients. Each mail looks exactly as if it came from your own computer and was addressed directly and personally. There are no quantity limits when sending e-mails: How fast 10 or 1,000 e-mails are sent depends on the respective customer server (or that of the external service provider who manages the system), not on PressFile. In the mail itself, only the sender’s signature appears, as it was stored in PressFile – we stay discreetly and invisibly in the background. And no matter how many mails are sent: There are no additional costs!
Even if IT prohibits sending via the company’s own server due to some security concerns, we offer a solution with the Smart Host that works just like the one described above. For this purpose, we work with the professional provider . With the help of the SPF procedure (Sender Policy Framework), we ensure that the mails are identified as legitimate mails just as reliably as if they came from our own mail server. We have already described elsewhere that PressFile also offers a transparent contact history. The same applies to how easy it is to set up differentiated press distribution lists, via which the addressees are supplied exclusively with the information that is actually of interest.
Why do we place such a high value on communication that is as personal as possible? Quite simply, PressFile was developed by PR professionals and is therefore geared to the specific needs and processes of media relations. And further development is also determined by PR professionals. This is how we ensure that our claim of making the daily work routine in PR agencies or press departments as easy as possible is also realized.