Creating and Sending Email Distributions

Email Distributions

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 prior to 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 Search Media Contacts option on the Influencer tab of the Next Generation Cision Communications Cloud. The Cision Media Database platform will open.
  2. Click My Activities under the Campaigns tab of the Cision Media Database.

  1. Find the Email Distribution panel
  2. Click the Create New button


  1. 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.

Email Settings


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.

Email Select Lists

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.

Subject Line

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.

Import From Word

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

Email formatting options

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

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.

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.

plain text email distro

If are using one of the Marketing Automation Systems listed, you can use these fields to track 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:


  1. Source: Source will define where this referral traffic came from (EX: Cision)
  2. Medium: Medium will define what Medium that the referral traffic came from (EX: Email Distribution)
  3. Campaign: Campaign will group several releases about the same topic together so that you can report on the overall campaign performance.  (EX: Spring Promotion)
  4. Term: Optional parameter suggested for paid search to identify keywords for your ad.
  5. 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. 


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.