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DP Directory, Inc.
525 Goodale Hill Road
Glastonbury, CT 06033 USA
(860) 659-1065
al@dpdirectory.com

Top 10 Tips for Choosing a Company to email your Press Release to the Editors

(1) Choose a firm that specializes in computer products.

To be effective, your Public Relations representatives have to know both the computer industry and the computer marketplace.

They have to be able to tailor your distribution list by platform (Windows, UNIX, OS/2, AS/400, Macintosh).

They have to be able to include all of the important consumer, trade, and dealer/VAR magazines, as well as editors who write computer columns for daily newspapers.

If they don't specialize in promoting computer products, it's unlikely that they track multiple editors at key computer publications, or that they've taken the time to develop a robust international list of computer editors.

For more than 22 years, DP Directory has been working exclusively with software developers and computer hardware manufacturers.

(2) Select a firm that sends test emails before they send the "real" press releases.

A press release that looks great in Word or WordPerfect can look awful when it is emailed. Features such as multiple columns, centering, and right-justification simply don't work with a lot of the editors' email readers.

Many typographical characters get turned to scrambled eggs in older email readers.

Be sure you have the opportunity to look at and approve the actual version of the press release that the editors will see.

DP Directory always sends test emails, and we wait for your "ok" to send the real press releases.

(3) Ensure that your press releases are sent individually.

Never send bulk mail to the editors.

Each press release should be addressed to an individually-named editor, and never to a cc: list, a blind cc: list, or a suppressed-recipient list.

When your press release is emailed, you should be the "from" person, the "reply to" person, and the "bounce to" person. Whether an editor says, "Send me an evaluation copy" or "Take me off your list", you can gather immense amounts of valuable information from the editors' responses to your press releases.

Make sure you see it all.

DP Directory sends all of our press releases individually, from you to each editor.

(4) Use a professional, full-time press release company.

There are developers who have created part-time Press Release businesses. They don't have the marketing experience to write an effective press release for you, or to provide an in-depth, critical review of the press release that you've written.

Most of these folks gather their press contact information only from the Internet. Their lists contain a high percentage of generic names and email addresses (such as "Computer Editor" and "editor@") versus actual names and email addresses(such as "John Smith" and "jsmith@").

At DP Directory, we work full-time with software developers, exclusively. Our computer list contains 97 percent of the editors' actual names and email addresses. We have the computer editors and columnists at all of the high-circulation US daily newspapers, as well as the computer magazines, large and small.

(5) Find out about costs.

Expect to pay about twelve to twenty cents (US) per editor. Find a firm that is up-front about their fee structure, and has no hidden charges.

DP Directory charges $129(US) to send your press release to more than 1,000 computer editors. Our other lists are priced in the 13-cents-per-name range, too.

(6) Be aware of Lost Opportunity Costs.

The number of computer editors who should be receiving your press release will vary depending on the type of product (consumer versus business, professional versus home, Windows versus a platform with a smaller installed base).

You don't want to increase your press release distribution numbers by sending, say, a press release about a telecommunications product to the game-player magazines.

For a typical Windows utility, you should be reaching a thousand well-targeted computer editors.

DP Directory subscribes to more than 145 US computer magazines, and we capture the editors' contact information directly from the mastheads. But that's just the beginning. We use industry directories, and spend hours searching the Internet for computer editors worldwide. And when you've been in the PR business as long as we have (since 1984), computer editors come to you and ask to be added to your list.

There are some "tired" press lists being offered on the Internet. Buying a press list that was compiled weeks or months earlier is a real mistake. It's going to have an unacceptably large undeliverable rate, and it's not going to contain the newest magazines or latest editorial appointments.

(7) Make sure you're targeting your vertical markets.

If you're promoting an educational software package, choose a PR firm that has a good education editor list, too.

If you're promoting an office product, make sure you're sending your press release to the business editors, including vertical lists such as banking and insurance.

Find a PR firm that will include all of the relevant vertical markets, while keeping the price moderate.

While DP Directory specializes in computer editors, we have more than 8,000 other editors' names, on lists ranging from Art to Woodworking. We have business, general-interest, education and government magazines. Please call or email if you have any questions about a particular subject area.

(8) Find a PR firm that is willing to answer your questions.

There's a certain cookie-cutter aspect to the sending of your press releases. But all of the other important tasks - the preparation and setup and targeting and testing - have to be performed individually.

Find a company that answers your phone calls or emails to your satisfaction, and make them a partner in your ongoing promotional efforts.

There are a lot of differences between today's emailed press releases and the traditional (postal-mail) press releases of the 1990's. Find a PR firm that has a wealth of information about writing and sending press releases on their web site.

DP Directory has a comprehensive press release FAQ that will answer most of your questions about emailing your press releases. We welcome your emails, and we're here to answer our customers' questions by phone, from mid-morning (east coast US time) through early evening.

(9) Find a PR firm that will read your press release - one that gives its customers feedback before they send press releases to the editors.

An experienced PR person who is interested in building a long-term relationship with you will be happy to give your press release a reasonability check. They can find simple things that you might overlook - things that could make the difference between getting ink or getting trashed.

Example - Does your press release say that your software costs $49 or $49(US)? Your press release should be going to editors in a number of countries that have dollar-denominated currencies (United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore). Your chances of getting your press release printed are higher if you avoid confusing the editors.

Example - If your press release doesn't say what platform your software requires, will the editors take the time to ask you about it, or will they select a press release that requires less follow-up work? If you're marketing a software package for other software developers, they'll understand the term "32-bit Windows". But if you're marketing a program to end-users, they won't know what it means. You should be saying "Windows 95/98/Me/NT4/2000".

Example - Are you saying "Evaluation Copy Available on Request" at the bottom of the press release, after the ###'s? You should be making every friendly gesture imaginable to the editors who are reading your press release.

We at DP Directory know that if your press release generates a lot of ink, you'll be back to use our press release service again and again. We're happy to give our customers' press releases a read, and give them some unbiased feedback.

(10) Find a PR firm that has an International list of computer editors.

While the United States has more computer editors than any other country, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, France, Germany, Italy, and all of Western Europe represent huge marketplaces with enormous revenue-generating potential. Make sure your press release is being sent to key editors on both sides of the pond.

DP Directory's list of non-North-American computer editors contains more than 100 names from around the world, and it's growing larger every day.


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