Why Associated Press and Canadian Press Distribution Still Matters to PR Pros
You might think that sending your press releases to media outlets is a thing of the past – or at least not nearly as important as it was a few years ago when journalists were gatekeepers to what news reached the public, and when.
While it is true that the internet has made a huge impact on how people find and share news, there are significant benefits to sending your press releases through the Associated Press (AP) and/or The Canadian Press (CP) that are very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve through social networks or online-only distribution.
For example, if you have an important newsworthy announcement and want it to appear in regional and national press or in the business pages of daily newspapers and business journals (including their online sites), you likely won’t achieve that through online-only distribution. You need journalists to see and report on your news so it appears in the right places. And if you’re a publicly traded company and include your ticker symbol in your press releases, distribution via AP or CP virtually ensures that they appear on prominent media outlet sites like WSJ, CNN, Globe and Mail, and Bloomberg.
What is the Associated Press?
The AP is a multi-national not-for-profit news agency headquartered in New York City. It operates in more than 280 locations worldwide and is owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members that currently number around 1,400 US daily newspapers and thousands of TV and radio broadcasters. Founded in 1847, the AP focuses solely on finding, reporting and distributing news and bills itself as “the most trusted source of independent news and information in the world.” More people get their news from the AP than from any other source, which in the 21st Century means in print, on the air and on the internet – and that news includes words, images, graphics, sounds and video.
What is The Canadian Press?
The Canadian Press (CP) along with its French-language counterpart, La Presse Canadienne, is Canada’s multimedia news agency. Founded in 1917, it delivers multimedia news around the clock and in real time to daily newspapers and more than 500 radio and TV stations that rely on CP news when preparing their print pages, online sites and on-air newscasts. In addition, government, corporations, publishers and associations subscribe to CP’s news and information services for delivery of credible content to thousands of websites, magazines, elevator screens and wireless devices. CP is the exclusive distributor of the Associated Press in Canada.
How AP and CP Press Release Distribution Works
When you select a targeted US or Canadian newsline through a major news distribution service, your news travels through multiple channels, including the AP and/or CP news feeds that reach the editorial systems of virtually every AP and/or CP subscriber newspaper and broadcast outlet in the chosen countries.
- AP applies its taxonomy of subjects, places, people and geographies to every release it delivers, which is invaluable to media companies who use it to sort and organize content, as well as make it visible to search engines. This is the same taxonomy applied to every AP news story.
- An AP story that runs on a US state wire will only be available to newspaper and broadcast members in that state, giving AP members exclusivity on stories of importance to their customers. An AP story that moves to the national wire will be available to all 1,400 of AP’s US daily newspaper members, while a story that appears on the international wire reaches international subscribers.
- Content is also delivered via AP Mobile, which has more than 1.5M users per month.
When your press release travels through a targeted Canadian newsline, it goes directly to the desktops of journalists who work in almost 700 media outlets served by The Canadian Press across Canada.
- This network uses the same highly reliable, high-speed digital transmission system used by The Canadian Press’ own editorial news service, and press releases on this network also travel directly into newsroom editorial systems. To ensure there is no confusion between press releases and edited news stories, the two streams are distinctly identified, albeit traveling along the same transmission path.
- Photos in press releases are distributed on the same satellite network used by The Canadian Press to deliver news photos. With every transmission, photos are also deposited indefinitely on the Canadian Press images archive (www.cpimages.com) – Canada’s largest online editorial photo archive.
- Videos are delivered directly to The Canadian Press video subscribers in their FTP folders. The Canadian Press then sends an e-mail advisory following distribution that lets subscribers know that a video is waiting for them in their preferred format and ready for upload.
How AP and CP Press Release Distribution Benefits You
Here are some of the benefits that you get from sending your press release through a newsline that offers AP and CP distribution:
- You have the ability to create focused content (text, hyperlinks, images, video) that match the geographic and business interests of the recipient media organizations – and you can choose which items are delivered where.
- Your content is delivered alongside the most widely respected news feeds in the world to trusted newsrooms and editors that matter the most – thousands of news and media organizations around the world. That makes it more likely that critical press releases will be seen and picked up.
- If your news affects a broad geographic area or relates to breaking worldwide issues, distributing it through AP or CP helps ensure coverage, as often AP and CP reporters cover events that local reporters don’t have the staff to cover.
- A story that has an AP or CP byline is often considered the “official” story and holds more clout those written by other reporters – including bloggers and those on social channels.
As with any content that you distribute via a press release, there’s no guarantee that your news will get picked-up, written about and shared. Success depends on whether your announcement is newsworthy and how well your messages address the interests of your target audience. But if you make your newsworthy releases compelling and submit them through a newswire that distributes your releases via the AP and CP feeds, your news has a much higher chance of being seen and acted upon by the right audiences.