Marketing Your Business with Press ReleasesBy
A press release is a communication aimed at telling the news media about something newsworthy. When you think of press releases, you probably imagine an organization or government agency holding a meeting with reporters and laying something really ground-breaking on them. But actually, even a small company can issue a press release and it doesn’t have to be world news. It can simply introduce a new service or product line, or generally tell people that you’re there. And the Internet allows anybody to get the word out easily.
Picking an Angle
Start by thinking of the news you want to share with the world. It can be something as simple as describing the services your company offers. Other ideas include:
– New products or services
– New partnerships with other companies
– Charity drives
– Technological innovations
– Research results
– Tie-ins with news stories
The idea is just to have some kind of angle. The angle is the ‘story’ of your press release and it’s what makes it interesting to read.
The last idea I mentioned above is to tie your business in with a news story. This is a really effective strategy because it mentions some serious news and then relates it to your business.
For example, if you have an SEO company, you can write a press release about a new law that makes it easier to sell online. A few paragraphs down, you then say that your company offers full ecommerce solutions.
The Anatomy of a Press Release
Press releases are short. Usually, a PR is just a page long. The first paragraph tells the what, when, where, why and how. It should present the most important details. Readers will skim this and if it interests them, they’ll continue down the page. Each paragraph then gives more detailed information on what the first paragraph described.
At the bottom of the PR is contact information. This is very important. It should say something like, ‘For more information on such-and-such, contact (company name) at (phone number).’ The idea is that if the reader is interested, they’ll follow-up with you for more information.
It’s also good to put a quote in your PR somewhere. This is standard practice and it gives the press release a human touch. If you’re a small business owner, it can simply be a quote from you about the service you’re offering.
Getting It to the Media
The traditional method was to send press releases to local media outlets in the hopes that they would publish them. This can still be effective, but there are now easier ways.
Press release directories are sites where people go to look for press releases. Many of them are free to use and some get quite a bit of traffic.
There are press release distribution services that for a fee will get your PR into the right hands. They work as a middleman or agent to help get your PRs published. Research a distribution service well before you use them to make sure they can get your PRs seen.
Finally, you can post your PR on your website or anywhere else online. You can use it as a way to attract search engine traffic. A good way to do this is to create a ‘News’ page for your site where you’ll periodically post PRs.
The main thing is to get over the idea that you have to be Reuters. It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering news. You just need an angle that’s newsworthy and that ties back in to your business.
Toby & Sam Russell
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