December 23, 2011

Mass Distributions or Massive Mess?

The biggest complaint I hear from journalists is when they are spammed by PR people. As someone who used to get a thousand emails a week, I can appreciate where they’re coming from. Sifting through email can be a distracting chore from meaningful work. So, I can only imagine how irritating it is to receive un-targeted, sales-y pitches that don’t even meet editorial requirements and to top it off, these pitches are sent with the expectation of the journalists responding to it. Ugh!
Let me be honest though. It isn’t always possible to send out a customized email to each journalist I work with. Particularly when we're talking news releases. I have attempted this in the past and well, it takes me an entire day to get the news out and leaves me little time to do anything else and doesn't meet anyone's news cycle. So in the interest of transparency, when it comes to mass media distributions, I use Vocus. Vocus is a SaaS-based CRM-like solution for managing your media relationships. I LOVE VOCUS. Vocus lets me manage my relationships by tracking conversations, monitoring upcoming editorial calendar opportunities, and sending out news and pitches. It also gives journalists the ability to opt-out of my emails (heaven forbid!).
So, when trying to get the news out in a timely fashion, I rely on my media lists. Even though our industry is relatively small, I have 16 different lists to help ensure that I only send relevant information to the right journalists. I scrub these regularly trying to avoid sending something to a reporter who has changed beats or is no longer with the publication. While I know this isn’t the ideal personal email, it is an efficient and more respectful way to distribute news than blasting it off with no consideration for who's on the other end.

What tools do you use? Do you have a different approach? Let me know!


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