The purpose of a press release is to provide news that will be of interest to a particular audience. You want to include critical information about the event in the briefest fashion possible, with an eye for how it relates to your audience. It should follow a standard format so that readers can easily scan through an article and find what is most interesting to them.
The media is a powerful tool for any business. Matthew Walther writes: In addition to writing press releases to appear in traditional print media, you can also use social media sites like Facebook or Twitter to promote your company and your latest news.
What is a press release?
A press release is a formal announcement that the editor wants to send to a wide range of news outlets and potential reporters. As Alasdair Gill wrote: To do this, the press release writer will write down all the specific information about your product or event and compile it into a one-page document. This means that your press release may be short, but you also have the option of writing the release to make it interesting and appealing to the editor. It is also essential that you write in the same voice and format that reporters are used to dealing with conventional publications.
Why you need to publish a press release
Press releases are a way to build brand awareness and provide members of the media, reporters and industry influencers with the background information they need to write a suitable story about your company. Furthermore, as Margaret Pooh Shapiro wrote: a press release is one of the best ways to show your company’s potential and help establish you as a leader in your field.
According to Larry Hobbs: All press releases provide valuable information about your company and your services to the media. It is through this channel that your company can establish itself as a name to be observed. Every business that has a website, blog, or social media channels has the opportunity to send out press releases.
The anatomy of a press release
There are many types of press releases we can use. Carole Malone wrote: Some are issued to get the story out before the media, some are just for company information and marketing, some are to generate interest in the company, and some are to draw attention to a social cause or other company.
A one-page press release, sometimes known as a “mini press release,” is usually the shortest version of a release, but it is usually the most informative. According to Don Smith: The press release contains most of the details and allows you to be more open and clear about the purpose of the release. This is usually the first release you’ve released and most media just cover them because they’re easy to write.
The importance of an effective press release
The press release doesn’t just consist of your company’s name and contact details. It’s the best chance that your business has of getting the attention of the press.
Getting your company’s press release noticed is key to making the most impact. You’re vying for attention with big brands like Apple, Google and Yahoo! This means that being presented as the top company in your field will give your business positive attention. Niall Donnelly believes: The best thing to do in this case is to invest as much time and effort as possible in creating your press release. To create a press release that gets the attention it deserves, being a good writer is essential.
What are the main types of press releases?
There are really two types of press releases, the traditional press release and social media release. The traditional press release is where you go to a press list or find a news site that hasn’t reported on your company yet and contact them asking them to cover you. You should try to submit a press release to a local paper and to a non-profit or national organization if you want to target the media.
Once the article has been published in the newspaper, it can generate some public awareness for your company. It’s a good way to get media attention. Michael Buchanan wrote that: Another reason to publish a press release is if you want to appear in a podcast or for interviews. When in doubt, ask people in the media.
What should I include in my press release?
Let’s start by looking at what you should include in your press release. As a business owner, you probably already know what your target audience needs and how your offering can deliver. What your ideal customer would look for in a product or service would be pretty predictable and you probably already have the product or service you offer. John Griffin wrote: What you need to do is design your release to give potential customers an impression of your product or service in the form of a press release. This is something you can tweak until you get what you’re looking for.
Where should I publish my press release?
Adelle Caballero wrote : The ideal place to publish a press release is on your own website. The press release will already be optimized for search engines. Also, if you have a white paper or other high-value product to promote, it would make more sense to post your press release on that product’s website.
However, in some cases, you may need to send a press release to the media. This can be a sign of either big news or a serious PR crisis. In that case, you can use media outlets like PRWeb or PR Newswire to send press releases to their audience.
Press Release: Traditional media
You can send a press release to traditional media including newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and podcasts. Again, these are the media your readers/viewers are most likely to see. According to Paul Routledge: The purpose of a press release is to reach the media, not necessarily create a “media buzz” of interest to potential consumers.
Press Release: Social media
It’s no secret that the internet is pretty huge. A lot of people use it for social networking, emailing, and, yes, even making business connections. That makes the social media networks so valuable for small businesses. With Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Facebook, there are plenty of ways to promote your company.
The best place to reach journalists, if you’re not a big name, is through Twitter. Jefcoate Odonnell wrote: Following the right people with key keywords and hashtags (known as “routing”) will give you the best chance of getting noticed. More than that, you need to follow journalists who regularly cover the subjects your company is passionate about. If you’re dealing with life insurance, for example, a copywriter on living will and power of attorney will be a good combination.
By now you probably have a pretty good idea on what a press release should be about. It’s also likely that you have a pretty good idea what it’s NOT about. When it comes to writing press releases, everything is negotiable, including the subject matter, but one thing that’s definitely off the table is plagiarism.
As you can see, there are a variety of ways to get the word out about your company and products in the world of social media. By using these tips, you will help your company grow and you’ll get the attention you need to build a successful business.