White Paper: How To Choose The Best Feature News Release Distribution Service


Feature news content creation, distribution and promotion can be challenging for even the most experienced communications professionals. The biggest priorities for marketers include content creation, distribution and amplification. Figuring out the objectives for your brand, analyzing vendors and measuring success is a complex job that is essential for satisfying your management. Feature news release creators and content distribution providers can help in a highly sophisticated and specialized way. There are many marketplace options to consider, the offerings of each can vary widely and you need to evaluate how some can help achieve your objectives better than others.

It’s important to have a clear idea of what you need before beginning the process of preparing to buy — and way before you start comparing vendors. Otherwise,  you may focus on service providers that don’t live up to expectations of management.  It’s best to identify those that will help you achieve your marketing and communications goals.

Let this be your guide to asking the right questions so that you can pick the best feature news release creator, distribution and promotion provider that will impress management and work for your message.

Q: What is the desired outcome of your communications campaign? Do you have a single goal in mind or are you trying to accomplish a range of benchmarks?

Earned Media Pickup: Third-party coverage reinforces and authenticates the story your brand is trying to tell. In fact, according to Nielsen, consumers trust earned media more than paid and owned media. Choose a content distribution service that has a proven track record with media and a history of providing valuable news and information. Make sure the provider offers direct but credible delivery into editorial systems and newsrooms of major media organizations and community news outlets. In addition, the ability to target individual influencers via e-mail is very important to a well-rounded media relations strategy. Ideally, a service should also connect brands and industry experts together with journalists so they can write compelling stories together.

Online Visibility: Your content distribution service should enable your brand to reach the websites that matter most to you. However, it’s not just about the numbers, but rather, whether you are targeting the right placements. Big-name publications such as “New York Daily News” attract a large readership and increase the chance that people will see your content, while niche sites reach highly engaged and targeted information seekers. Also consider what else you want to reach: blogs, broadcast media, newspapers, multicultural media or others.

Search Visibility: You already know the importance of search visibility. Nearly all consumers research online before making a major purchase. Choose a content distribution service that has high search engine authority to increase your opportunity to organically reach your target audience.

Conversion and New Audience Acquisition: You probably have content promotion in your own channels — website, blog, social — that is well thought out, but is that enough when your goal is to acquire new prospects and contacts? Sharing your story across multiple channels — including feature news release distribution — can get your message in front of additional professionals and consumers. Your ideal content promotion partner will have a network, as well as content and targeting options that will help your story be discovered — and be acted on — by the audiences you seek. Premium providers will have trackable links so you can measure your responses.

Brand Engagement: How does your press release service enable you to share your content on social channels? There should be social sharing tools built right into the pages hosting your news releases. There should also be social boosting, link referral services and search options included. 

According to a survey of 10,000 newspapers, 5,000 radio stations, over 1,000 TV stations and 15,000 bloggers, NAPS ranks No.1 as the most trusted source of feature news content and is used almost exclusively as an external source of feature news content by many.

Q: Who is your intended audience?

Pinpoint your geographical, industry-specific and demographic goals

  • Local, Regional and National Markets: Whether you want to gain targeted attention across a wide spectrum with a national audience or target your message through a narrow, local lens, your press release distribution service should offer a solution to match your requirements.
  • Target Specific Industries:If you want to target a niche, industry-specific market, consider the targeting capabilities that a service provides. You should be able to specify that you want to reach journalists in a certain sector or send your press releases to online websites that cover industry-specific markets.
  • Increase Search Visibility, Conversion Rates and Web Traffic: Boost your brand’s discoverability and maximize results for your campaigns. The feature news release distribution service’s own website is key to getting your content to show up in search engines. Make sure that the site has industry-leading search authority, is search-engine optimized and receives millions of visitors.
  • Multicultural Markets: You’ve readied your message to reach your target audiences — but you know there are more specific targets to pursue. Your service should offer a diverse collection of distribution options that reach specific ethnic audiences, including Latino and black media outlets.
  • International: Meet your brand’s international communications needs with translation into different languages for international distribution.
  • Culture and Demographics: Meet your brand’s needs by promoting your feature news releases to specific demographic segments, by selecting a content distribution vendor that can target by ethnicity, age, gender, lifestyle and religion.

Feature News Release Distribution Boosts Results A recent case study demonstrated that a series of feature news content distributions yielded high results through NAPS.  The series increased revenue, brand awareness and website traffic reliably and consistently.  For more information, contact us for a proposal at no cost or obligation. 

Q: What features are important to you?

Customizable, Interactive Content: Customizable content options that amaze — it’s more than just rendering hyperlinks these days. Is your news release available in a Web-ready file that’s easy for websites to read? Can you include subheadlines, bullets, anchor text, and bolding to make your message visually interesting?

Multimedia: Can you embed photos and videos and reach distribution points to tell a highly compelling story in a visually engaging way? And does that multimedia content follow your press releases everywhere it goes? Make your story stand out and build deeper connections with your audiences by promoting multimedia content.

Additional Services: From media monitoring to targeting platforms, video production, strategic media placement,  media websites and international distribution — make sure your vendor has the capabilities to support your brand’s current marketing and communications programs and future strategic needs as you grow.

Q: What are your service level expectations?

Professional Editorial Guidance: Consider the credentials of the team that will help you polish your press release. Are they degreed professionals with industry experience? Some questions to ask:

  • Do staff proofread and evaluate the content under standardized quality guidelines?
  • Do they offer advice on search optimization and best practices?
  • Can they provide in-depth content analysis and feedback?
  • How quickly can they turn around my feature news release?

User Experience: The service should offer a secure, online, easy-to-use submission process. Consider whether a secure online portal and account management tools are offered to help you optimize the release process. For example, can you preview and approve a copy of your content before it goes out? Can you schedule your feature news release for a specific time?

Hours: If your brand needs assistance outside of normal business hours, consider a service that will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Crisis communicators can attest to the value of having an always-available staff on hand.

Q: How can you evaluate success?

Reporting: You want a service that can help you measure the success of your brand’s content promotion and distribution efforts. Analytics should be part of the package, providing actionable information and valuable ROI to help you gain insights and parse data by release and account performance. See where your content appeared online, how many views it received and which organizations are interested. Uncover the audience that viewed your content and track engagement with click-throughs, shares, tweets and downloads. Export data and analyze your success so that you can gain insights on current performance data and plan future campaigns. In addition, have a dedicated point of contact that can help you understand your results while providing consultative feedback to exceed your communication benchmarks.