A good press release is worth its weight in gold. Well, it might be worth a little more since a single piece of paper doesn’t usually weigh that much. But, a good press release can result in great publicity for your business.
An added bonus: credibility. Getting a mention in a popular publication or during a well-known broadcast tells the reader or viewer that your business has something interesting to offer. You can’t buy that with ads.
One problem here, Mindy, my business isn’t doing anything newsworthy.
What’s a good reason to commission a press release?
Think again! It doesn’t matter if your business is brand new or celebrating its 75th anniversary (two great reasons to send out press releases, by the way); there are a lot of “newsworthy” business happenings that would be perfect for a press release. Such as:
- The launch of a new service – Anytime your business switches it up to offer something new to customers, shout it from the rooftops! People like to know businesses evolve and grow. I’m sure you can reach your current customers pretty easily. But, what about those new customers out there that would benefit from your new service?
- A grand opening – I doubt I need to cover the value of publicizing a grand opening. Who doesn’t love grand openings? New things to see, free things to take home, balloons…count me in!
- A change in location – Remember how bummed you were that your office flooded like six months ago because a pipe unexpectedly sprung a leak after business hours? Remember how angry you are because the landlord won’t do anything to get rid of that awful smell that you suspect is really due to a whole Texas-sized colony of mold thriving in the walls? Kill two birds with one stone–get a new location and some cheap publicity for your business. (I would like to go on record stating I do not advocate the actual harming of any birds in any way, but especially not with stones because that sounds extra inhumane)
- Any event, like a sidewalk sale – Not planning an event? Well, what’s stopping you? Carpe diem! Pluck the day, or something like that…
- Partnering with another business or charity – Nothing says you have some exciting things happening quite like a collaborative undertaking. It is so big and awesome that you had to partner with someone! If you are partnering with a charity, pick one that impacts the community in which you operate. It goes a long way when customers know that businesses understand the community and community needs. Bonus: media outlets like to publicize community-focused events.
- A business anniversary celebration – I couldn’t leave this one out. It’s important! We see businesses come and go everyday. It’s nice to know businesses still have longevity in this unpredictable world. Throw an ice cream social or a watermelon eating contest or whatever, but make it an event.
- Your company received an award – Even if it wasn’t your company, but an individual employed by your company, celebrate the successes! They don’t happen every day. Awards also mean you or your employee is one of the best in your specific industry.
- You’re available to speak on a certain topic – A lot of people cringe at this one. It can feel like that one time you asked that one person you really liked on a date only to hear nothing but crickets chirping in response. Before you shy away, though, remember who will be reading your press release–an editor. Sometimes, editors like to use experts on certain topics for interviews and articles. So, even if this one release doesn’t net you a speaking engagement, it puts your name in the mind of every editor who reads the release.
- You’re offering freebies like an informational series of blog posts on your website, or free consultations – Who doesn’t like freebies? I like freebies.
- A significant change in your business structure, products, or strategy – Again, it is always nice to know that a business is evolving and growing.
Remember, editors and journalists are your target readers for press releases. It needs to be written in a way that is interesting, informative, and accurate. No exaggerations or fluff. The goal is to inspire these news-people to feature you, your business, and the exciting things happening!
There are writers like me that will write your press release, and then submit them to area media for an additional charge. If you choose to submit the release yourself there are some important things to keep in mind.
Follow each media outlet’s specific procedure for submitting press releases. The quickest way to make sure your press release never sees the light of day is to ignore the procedure for submission. Don’t tick off the media.
Make sure the press release has the correct date on it. When written, a press release gets the current date or date that you wish the information to be released. If you are sending the press releases out for more than one day, the date needs to be corrected. A simple mistake to make, but attention to the little details like the date will only help your case.
If you are writing the release yourself, make sure it is perfect in style, format, and grammar. I can’t stress this enough. Editors like rules. Don’t ignore them.
What’s the most effective way to distribute a press release?
Well, find journalists who have written a story that is similar to what you have to offer. Email them directly with the pertinent information. Let them know you enjoyed the other article that’s similar in topic, and tell them why you think your story would be a good fit.