Press Releases broadcast your organizations’ news and optimizes it for all media channels. Basic Marketing. Present it as a story that has value to readers first, because if it happens to be picked up by a journalist, you’ve just made the job easier by presenting an angle.
In a perfect world a public relations department works with everyone involved to refine and edit a press release to the point where it’s ready to be unleashed on the world. But most SMB’s don’t have a trained public relations person on staff, here’s the why and how to write a good press release – a content component of every marketing program. It’s semi-formal, simple and generates results.
Why Write a Press Release?
Launching a product? Company Milestone? New Partnership? Let people know by sending out a press release combined with posting on your website, industry forums and other social media.
Reach New Markets
Planning a special event? Targeting a certain demographic or new city? Get the word out quickly by submitting a press release to media outlets in a new area. This is a quick and inexpensive way to test out new markets.
How are you capturing those leads? Are you giving away a sample, or a blog, or even content? Your website is where potential customers check you out. Your press release section should get traffic. Promotions last longer when it is piggy-backed with a press release. New business from project partnerships, new hires and more can stem from a press release.
When your online content ranks high, it will probably be clicked more. By publishing press releases online, you add the links to create more authority on your site about a subject. The search engines can pick up the release and drive additional site traffic.
A press release is for journalists, bloggers and other influencers to find you. They generate interest in your organization. Get the reader (usually an editor of a trade magazine, news editor) to want more and create a story or article about you.
Articles are written to “sell”. Press Releases are written to intrigue.
6 Parts of a Press Release
1. Headline. Write the headline from the reader’s perspective, using key action verbs. For example: Unwind Yarn Shop Launches New Website; Granite Falls Municipal Hospital Hires New Doctor, Vivid Image Expands Offerings. Stick to the facts: The best press releases state the essence of the article.
2. Contact. Place media contact information near the top of the Press Release.
3. News. The first paragraph reworks the headline and provides general information. Think of the what, where and how of the news is critical.
4. Quote. Usually completed by a senior level of the organization, the quote tells why the news is important for the organization. When two organizations are involved, quotes should stem from both parties.
5. About. Similar to the About Us page on a website, the about paragraph summarizes the who of the press release like: when the organization was founded, the size of the organization or even a trademarked product. Typically this is a “standard” paragraph that concludes each press release and rarely varies from one press release to the next.
6. Distribute. Send press releases to local news organizations, then think beyond newspapers and include radio, tv, industry trade editors/publications, vendors, partners, clients and more.
How are you using press releases in your 2012 marketing plan? Let Vivid Image know if you need help creating that first press release template. While they aren’t as exciting as a new website or social media, the “workhorse of marketing” brings the additional “free” exposure that your organization needs to thrive.