Spread the word about your business with a press release
When we think about press releases we usually picture a large corporation dealing with major media outlets and newspapers, such as when they make a public relations statement or reveal new information about an upcoming product. But did you know that any business, including yours, can benefit from using the press release marketing tool and that you don’t need to be a big name company to use it successfully?
What exactly is a press release? (and why it should matter to you)
A press release can be defined as a brief story or public relations announcement regarding new information about a business that is then sent to targeted members of the media with the goal of getting that information released to the general public. You want a press release to answer the basic questions; who, what, when, where, how, and why, so that a journalist or other media professional can easily create a story from that information.
- Press releases should read like a traditional news story or article in order to get the attention of the right media outlets.
- When used strategically and crafted with care, a press release can be a valuable marketing and public relations tool for your business.
When is it time to send out a press release and who should you send it to?
You need to have a substantial reason to send out a press release, such as the introduction of a new product or service, a grand opening, or a company-wide merger, otherwise it’s not going to stand out to media members as newsworthy. While a press release is a valuable marketing tool it will not be as effective if it’s not used strategically.
And who you send the press release to is almost as important as what it contains! Similar to how your business has a specific audience that you target when creating the content on your website, the publications which you send your press releases to also have a specific audience that they cater to.
- Consider the audience of the publication you send your press release to in order to make sure they will be interested in your story.
- Don’t embellish on the facts within your press release to make it sound more appealing in hopes of getting the press release published; stick to the relevant facts.
- It’s important to stand out amongst the competition but don’t mislead the public as you try to accomplish that.
When writing a press release, be sure to include the following elements:
–Open with basic contact information (name, email, phone number the author of press release) so readers have a resource for questions
–Include a time, date, and location stamp just like a news article
–A brief (5 or 6 words) unique, and eye catching headline that describes the reason for the press release
–Below the headline include a brief one-line summary of the event to entice the journalist or media member to continue reading
–Use a lead sentence as with any news article to summarize the purpose of the event in 25 words or fewer
–Body of the press release answers the basic who, what, when, where, how, and why, but remember this is not a sales pitch! You are simply summarizing the event with the purpose of passing the information on to people who will find it useful/interesting.
-End every press release with a basic call to action, such as by encouraging readers to participate in the event, check out the product, service, etc.
-No more than 1-2 pages long
How can this benefit your business?
With the right timing and a strategic targeting of the right publications and media outlets, a press release has the potential to widen the scope of your pubic relations outreach and spread the word about your brand. Becoming skilled with the press release can also help you and your business by allowing you to form important networking and media relationships in your industry.
Written by Cassandra Sohn