When you write a news release your goal is to get publicity – media coverage about you and your book – either an article or an interview. To do that you have to write a news release that is persuasive and interesting and then make sure it gets to media decision makers.
The technology you use to reach media decision makers has an incredible influence on the effectiveness of your outreach.
Online news release services will post a news release (a page of text and some even do multimedia pages) and then post a snippet (short description) or maybe even just a headline or a subject line with a link to the news release page and your content. Media have to search to find it and read it. The headline may be on top of the list of news releases posted for only a few minutes before another one is added to the system and then it gets pushed down as it is replaced by others. It may be accessible to media if they have signed up to receive news releases for selected keywords they are interested in. But they still may only receive an email with a list of subject lines or snippets and this may not produce a very high response.
The data you see on the reports from these services is also terribly misleading. You do not know really how many people saw your pitch, compared to how many machines or even search engine spiders actually are causing the hit. Page hits do not equal media coverage.
The meaningful measurements are:
How many media actually responded with an article or an interview;
How many review copies requested;
How many and what quality blog posts you get with links and attribution;
How many quality articles/reviews and interviews results from you then sending your book and media kit; and finally
Did you sell ultimately product and produce a return on your investment that exceeded the cost of your outreach;
The challenge with this process is that you have to communicate meaningfully with media and first persuade them to give you coverage and second, the coverage you get has to trigger action on the part of the audience.
I prefer using email html and the phone to get maximum effect when I write a news release.
This way you hit the maximum number of key media people directly with a pitch and follow up with them so you find out if they even received it, and if so what they think. If you can get them interested in getting more ideas, information and proposals from you, then the door opens. .