Building and cultivating a press distribution list

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Create press distribution list

It is often difficult for companies and organizations to attract the attention of the press to their products, services or other news. One way to ensure that the media notices your news stories is to send a press release to the organisations on your press distribution list. But what exactly is a press distribution list, why do you need it and how do you create one?

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What is a press distribution list?

This is the central instrument in PR and public affairs work. A press distribution list is a list of the media contacts companies and organisations use to disseminate their news to the public. It contains contact details such as names, email addresses, phone numbers and media titles of journalists, editors and other media representatives.

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Why do you need a press distribution list?

Press and public affairs work thrives on contacts with media representatives. A well-maintained press distribution list lays the foundation for good relations with your most significant key media. It lets you send your news specifically to the contacts also interested in your press releases. This way you always reach the right people.

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How do you build a press distribution list?

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Define your target group

First, you should define your target group and research which media report on your sector. The more precise you make it, the better it is. You should make sure your key media get real value from your message. Then the response and encouragement from journalists will be higher.

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Researching the right journalists

The next step is to research which editorial offices and journalists handle your topic. This can be done with the aid of a professional directory, which zimpel from news aktuell can provide. You can also use social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and sector directories for your research. When you do your research, always think about local and regional media as well.

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Your distribution list’s structure and content

Your press distribution list should be neat, well-structured and contain at least the following information: media title and type (e.g. newspaper, radio, trade journal or television) and your contact’s full name, title, position, department and email address.

Tips for building up a distribution list

  • Define your key media and contacts, prioritising them by how significant they are to your PR work. Create a history for each contact and note when and on what occasion you addressed them. Make sure they give you permission to add them to your press distribution list (keyword: GDPR).
  • Get to know what your contacts want. Some would like to receive your press releases at their personal e-mail addresses, others may have a different internal organisation and would prefer to have your material sent to a general e-mail address. Simply comply with what they wish.
  • Don’t forget freelance journalists. They should also be on just about every thoughtfully researched press mailing list. It also makes sense because freelancers usually tend to be quite receptive to suggestions for topics. Furthermore, many media companies work with freelance journalists, who frequently have a lot of expert knowledge.
  • Create a history for each contact. This lets you read about whom you spoke with, which topics were discussed and when, previous meetings and which of key media have already published your stories, at any time, so, you can build a good relationship with your contacts.
  • Before you send out a press release, review carefully whether all of your distribution contracts are really interested in the topic. When in doubt, delete the contact from the distribution list. Last, but not least, always offer your contacts an opt-out.
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How can news aktuell help you build and maintain press distribution lists?

Permanently maintaining a press distribution list costs a lot of time. Since contacts at editorial offices frequently change, a press distribution list up-to-date today can very well be out-of-date tomorrow. This is where a professional directory comes in handy and news aktuell’s media database, underlain by its PR software zimpel, provides support to all communication professionals as they build up a targeted press distribution list. Advantages:

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Targeted research, straightforward administration and fast dispatch

zimpel’s media database has a diverse range of search options. With just a few clicks, you can find key media contacts for your story and compile a press distribution list quickly and easily.

Professionally manage your press distribution list with up-to-date, authorised data

zimpel’s research team regularly checks contacts in the database, relieving you of any distribution list maintenance. This means: all data is up-to-date and authorised by the media themselves.

How can news aktuell help you send press material?

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zimpel – international, national, regional

You can find in zimpel’s media database over 612,000 records of contacts, including the media and topics they cover. Use the integrated mailing tool to conveniently email your press material to your contacts. zimpel lets you reach PR managers, podcasters, influencers, bloggers and media professionals. All contacts entered in zimpel are regularly verified by its research team and approved by the media. zimpel also enables you to use the wide-reaching press portal to file your press material (texts, images and anything else) in your own newsroom.

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Kickstart - for SMEs and start-ups

Kickstart is a special entry-level package for PR professionals at start-ups and SMEs. It contains a mailing tool with up to 2,000 contacts in up to two subject areas from our contact database for them to reach and publish unlimited content around the clock. Press material can be simultaneously released by these smaller companies at their own newsroom on news aktuell’s press portal, which gets   million visits each month (IVW audited: average between 21 July and 22 June) and is one of the highest-reach portals for press material. This enables PR content to receive more traffic, more awareness and higher visibility on Google & Co.

In addition, Kickstart offers free distribution through the original text service - ots, from where press releases from companies and organisations reach the systems of all relevant editorial offices in Germany - to dpa, print and online media, television or radio.

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ots – German-speaking Europe and internationally

Something else: international communication. Communicating in German-speaking countries, in Europe, or around the world can be complex and harbours many pitfalls. There are so many countries, languages and cultures to keep in mind. Here news aktuell gives you support when you publish your press releases with its large network of media, journalists and news agencies in around 170 countries worldwide.

This dpa subsidiary serves all media formats such as print, television and radio, online portals and social networks. So, your press releases, images, audios and videos reach the right contact people at the right time and in the right language. If you wish, we can even provide you with support in preparing and translating your press material.

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