Email Distribution General Overview

Modified on: Tue, 6 Dec, 2022 at 3:49 PM

Are you ready to connect with the contacts from your media lists? Whether it’s a list of Contacts or Outlets, creating a Distribution is a streamlined, efficient process that will maximize your exposure to the media.

While we highly recommend that you build the Media Contacts or Outlets into a list before sending them a distribution to enhance your further engagement management, it is possible to send an email distribution directly to Media Contact or Outlet Search results without adding them to a list, click here to see more about sending an email distribution to Media Contact and Outlet search results not added to a list.

Follow these steps to send an email distribution to Media Contacts or Outlet lists:

1. Click Campaigns
2. Click My Activities
3. Find the Email Distribution panel
4. Click the Create New button
5. This will begin the step-by-step process of crafting your email for release. You can save your progress at any time during this process by selecting the Save for later link at the top of the distribution wizard.


1. To start, give your distribution a name for internal reference; it is not seen by your recipients. Be as descriptive as possible so you can easily remember what was sent later.
2. You can customize the “from” name and address. By default, the system will use the information of the logged-in user.
3. Choose whether or not you would like a copy sent to you.
4. Click Next from the bottom right.


You’ll choose which media lists you’ll target using the two dialog boxes on this screen.

1. You can use any combination of Contact and Outlet lists by selecting their checkbox. The system will deduplicate among your lists so that it only sends one email to each contact, even if they are part of multiple lists to which you are sending. Also, if you have added Private Email Contact Information for any Media Contacts in your lists, the Private Email Address will be used during email distribution. Click here to learn more about Private Contact Information in Media Contact Records. 
2. If you want to remove all selected lists, click the “Clear Selections” button
3. Add any Additional Email Addresses to which the distributions should go.  This feature allows you to send the distribution to individuals not part of the database, such as your leadership or team members.
4. Click Next from the bottom right.

Select a Template:

You can either work with a blank HTML slate or choose one of our pre-designed templates to help you get started.

1. On the Default Template Page, you will find templates by Cision. If you want to use a template shown here, click the template that best suits your communication.
2. If you, or other Cision users within your organization, have saved any of your templates, click the Custom Templates heading to select from those options. Saving a Custom Template will be covered in the next section.
3. Click Next

Design Your Email:

Now it’s time to craft your communication.

Enter a Subject for the email. This is the title that the recipients will see. It should stand out, grab the reader’s attention, and be about 55-75 characters.

You can add the body text of your release by importing, pasting, or typing.  NOTE: While you can paste your release's text if you prefer, we do not recommend pasting images in the body window. Rather, we suggest you use the upload image button on the toolbar described below.

Importing the Email Body as a Word Document:

If you have already constructed the body of your release in Word, you can upload the Word document using the Import Word Document link. Any images and links existing in the document will also be uploaded. You can edit the body of the email further once it has been imported.

If you have not already created the body of your release in Word, fill out the body by typing in the text, or you can use the paste text buttons to paste sections of text from a word processing application. When adding images to your email, we do not recommend pasting images in the body window. Rather, we suggest you use the upload image button on the toolbar described below to achieve the best results possible for your email.

You can format your release using the Toolbar and to point out a few of the most useful ones:

The personalisation option will be greyed out if you have included Additional Email Addresses on the Email Recipients page, as these two features cannot be used together.

Once you have constructed the body of your email, you can modify the plain text version and add an attachment if desired.

If the HTML email is blocked by the recipient’s server, a text version will be sent automatically. You can customize the plain text by selecting the Manual option. Tip: You will want to edit the plain text version if you use links or images in your release to clean it up for the recipients.

Click the Attachment to upload an additional file. The file must be smaller than 2 MB. You will receive an error message if your attachment exceeds the 2 MB size. Added attachments should be purely supplemental information, and your most important points should be in the body of your release. Also, be sure to review pitching profiles to make sure your recipients are OK with receiving attachments.

If are using a Marketing Automation System, you can use these fields to see (in your Marketing Automation System) the traffic driven by links added in the body of the email. To accomplish this, one of the links in your email needs to be for the site you are monitoring. 

The following is an example of the fields that will appear for Google Analytics. Note that the fields that appear are based on the system that is selected:

  • Web Tracking: Select the Marketing Automation System from the list you use to track your website. (Ex: Google Analytics) If your system is not listed, you can select Other from the list. An example of the Other fields appears below.
  • Source: Source will define where this referral traffic came from (EX: Cision)
  • Medium: Medium will define what Medium the referral traffic came from (EX: Email Distribution)
  • Campaign: The campaign will group several releases about the same topic so that you can report on the overall campaign performance.  (EX: Spring Promotion)
  • Term: Optional parameter suggested for paid search to identify keywords for your ad.
  • Content: Optional parameter for additional details for A/B testing and content-targeted ads.

For more information on Google Analytics and your Cision Emails, click here. 

The following is an example of the field that will appear Other is selected.

  • Web Tracking: If your system is not listed, you can select Other from the list. (Ex: Select Other for SalesForce)
  • URL Parameters: Enter the UTM code your system generates exactly as it should appear when appended to all URLs in your email body. Following is what an example UTM code might look like: utm_source=Cision&utm_medium=Email& utm_campaign=Cision%2BFeature%2BUpdates


You can review your information on the Confirmation step, 

1. Click any of the Edit links to make changes to your choices in the previous sections.
2. Use the Send Preview button to send a preview of the release to yourself or colleagues.
3. An Opt-Out language is required. This language will be used to generate the required Opt-Out information that appears at the bottom of the email.
4. An Opt-Out address is required, and you can change the address and company name displayed by clicking on the Override Address box. When adding or editing opt-out information, the state field is optional for all countries except the United States and Canada.
5. If you would like to add the Email Distribution to any Campaigns, select the Campaign names from the drop-down that appears.
6. You can have the email sent Now or schedule it for a future time and date. Emails scheduled for future distribution can be modified before the end date.
7. Click Submit when you are satisfied with your choices.

Note: you CANNOT edit a Distribution scheduled for Now once you click the send button. Please visit our Using the Campaigns Tab document to review your saved, sent, or scheduled releases.

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