Creating an Email Distribution

Modified on: Tue, 6 Dec, 2022 at 3:51 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 Contact 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. At any time during this process, you can save your progress 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 at a later date.
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.


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

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.
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 who are not part of the database such as members of your leadership or team.
4. Click Next from the bottom right.

Select a Template:

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

1. On the Default Template Page, you will find templates provided to you by Cision. If you would like to use a template shown here, simply click the template that best suits your communication.
2. If you, or other Cision users within your organization, have saved any of your own 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 and grab the reader’s attention and be about 55-75 characters in length.

You can add the body text of your release by importing, pasting, or typing.  NOTE: While you can paste in the text of your release 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 simply 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 image library button on the toolbar described below to achieve the best results possible for your email.

You have the ability to format your release using the Toolbar. The options on this Toolbar are available whether you paste, type in, or import your body contents. Following are some commonly used options available:

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

Using the Image Library:

The image library gives you the ability to conveniently store images you have used in past email distributions so that you can easily reuse them in future ones (such as when your logo is often added to all of your emailed press releases). You also have the option to add new images to your image library. 

There are few guidelines to keep in mind when using the image library. The first is that only image files can be added to the library. Each image added to the gallery must be 4 MB or smaller. Your image library can hold 1,000 images at a time. Finally, if you need to have an image or images removed from the image library, please submit a ticket to our Customer Support team here.

To access your Image Library, 

1. Select the Image Library button from the Editing Options Toolbar.
2. Use Add Image Upload option if you want to upload and use an image that has not been used in previous email distributions. Remember that only image files can be uploaded to the gallery. Each image must be 4 MB or smaller.
3. To reuse an image that has already been uploaded as a part of previous emails, click on the image in the gallery view. NOTE: You may select more than one image from the gallery at a time.
4. Select OK. The selected images will be inserted in your email.
5. If you need to have an image or images removed from the image library, please submit a ticket to our Customer Support team here.

Editing an Inserted Image:

Once you have inserted image, you can change its size, alignment, spacing from text, border and add a link. There are two options for accessing the Image Properties options, one for PC users and another for Mac users. Both of these methods are described below.

For PC users, access the Image Properties options by right clicking on the image(1) and selecting Image Properties (2). The Image Properties options (3) will appear.

For Mac users, access the Image Properties options by clicking on the image(1) and selecting Mountain and Sun icon (2) on the toolbar. The Image Properties options (3) will appear.

Following are descriptions of the Image Properties available to use when editing an inserted image:

Image Info:

  • URL: The URL path is used by the system to find the image. If you are looking to make your image a link, you will want to use the Link option on the Link tab of the image properties.
  • Alternative Text: Text added in the Alternative Text field will appear if the recipient views the email with plain text or chooses not to download the images (per their browser settings).
  • Width and Height: You can resize the image by specifying a Width and Height (in pixels).  The lock will be on by default which automatically maintains the width to height ratio. However, you can click the lock which will unlock the ratio enabling you to override both Height and Width.
  • Border: This option will inserted a black border around the image to to differentiate it from the text. You can specify how wide the border should be in this field. 
  • HSpace and VSpace: Add Horizontal and/or Vertical padding which will insert space around the image.
  • Alignment: Select either left or right alignment from this menu to create an effect where the text wraps either around the left or right of the image. NOTE: If you prefer center alignment, you will want to click on the image and then use the center text alignment option on the toolbar to achieve the desired alignment.


  • URL: Type in the URL to which you want the user to go when the image is selected. This makes the image a link.
  • Target: Determine how the linked web page should open. For example, specify whether it should open in the same window or a new window.

Viewing/Editing Plain Text:

Once you have constructed the body of your email, you will have the option to modify the plain text version of the email 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 are using links or images in your release to clean it up for the recipients.

Adding an Attachment:

Click Attachment to upload an additional file. The file must be smaller than 2 MB. If your attachment exceeds the 2 MB size, you will receive an error message. 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.

Adding Marketing Automation Tracking:

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. In order to accomplish this successfully, 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 are using to track your website. (Ex: Google Analytics) If your system is not listed, you have the option of selecting 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 that the referral traffic came from (EX: Email Distribution)
  • Campaign: Campaign will group several releases about the same topic together 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 have the option of selecting Other from the list. (Ex: Select Other for SalesForce)
  • URL Parameters: Enter the UTM code generated by your system 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 the choices you made 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 is the language that 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 send date.
7. Click Submit when you are satisfied with your choices.

NOTE: you CANNOT edit an Email scheduled for Now once you click the send button. To review your saved, sent, or scheduled releases please visit our Using the Campaigns Tab document.

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