Shotgun Approach, Press Release Distribution Services and Shortcuts

In this episode of the PR Talk Podcast, Amy Rosenberg, Founder of Veracity and author of A Modern Guide to Public Relations, spills about PR cheats you may need to use. Amy understands that sometimes PR professionals may not have the time, so she has come up with some cheats that work if used correctly or when necessary.

Correct Use of Cheats

Amy states that the PR cheats can only be used in two instances:

  1. The information is ABSOLUTELY VERY newsworthy.
  2. You do not have enough time or budget.

The three different categories of cheats she mentions are the shotgun approach, press release distribution services, and shortcuts.


Shotgun Approach

A shotgun approach is when you send out your pitch without customization. You can do this by creating a media list and emailing the pitch to whomever on the list would be most interested. You may want to at least segment your list by media type to make your follow-up a little easier. And if you have 15 extra minutes, you may want to augment your pitch for each medium type. So, for example, with TV you might include a few visuals that could be incorporated into the story, whereas with radio, you might include sound-bites that could be captured. 


Press Release Distribution Services

Press release distribution services are places where you can upload your press release (such as PR Newswire, PR Web, etc.) and it is “distributed” to media outlets. Sounds great, right? It is great until you take a deeper look at all the hits you are receiving and see that most of the time they are essentially fake. The best services out there are PR Newswire or Business Wire as they are more likely to reach newsrooms. To learn more about distribution services and if they are the right cheat for your team, check out this “Who Needs PR Distribution Services?” blog.



Some of the shortcuts included aren’t necessarily cheating, they are just additional tools to include in your PR arsenal, such as:

  • HARO (Help a Reporter Out) lets you sign up for emails that give you a list of what reporters are looking for, then you can pitch them.
  • Google Alerts and Talkwalker keep you on top of client news and trends in the industry.
  • Moz helps find the domain authority of any web page. 
  • Media databases like Cision, Meltwater, Agility, and Muck Rack can be used for list building and tracking coverage. 
  • The National Day Calendar website can help spark ideas for current or future campaigns. 

And finally, our recommended  PR tool is our PR Talk Podcast, with over 120 episodes including education and tips for today’s marketers. 

Find more helpful tips and a deeper look into PR cheats in “Chapter 9: PR Cheats” of A Modern Guide to Public Relations


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Never write a press release again. Amy Rosenberg’s no-frills guide to public relations is everything you wish you learned in college or on-the-job about launching a PR career or adding new skills to a flourishing marketing position.

This honest boots-on-the-ground account of working in public relations details how to work with bloggers, podcasters, influencers and traditional media to generate press coverage, social media attention, increased search engine optimization (SEO), praise from bosses and clients, and better working relationships with colleagues and media partners.

New approaches to PR are also uncovered, including: PR methods for increasing organic search rankings (SEO PR), social media and content PR (blog posts are the new press release), and operating as your own newsroom.

But most importantly, this guide serves as the ultimate tough-loving mentor for anyone starting their PR career or trying to get ahead in marketing by picking up new skills, methodology and a fresh perspective.

A Modern Guide to Public Relations

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A Modern Guide to Public Relations on Amazon

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Cailyn Tegel on Linkedin
Cailyn Tegel
Cailyn Tegel is an Account Executive at Veracity. She has a passion for the public relations industry and experience as a marketing intern for The Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau and a boutique PR Firm in St. Louis, MO.