Friday, February 4, 2011

The Power of the Press Release

You are constantly looking for the best ways to market your business… but I bet you are missing one of the most obvious ones:  The Press Release!  And guess what, other than the time put in, they are free.  Plus a newspaper article holds a lot more credibility in people’s eyes than an advertisement because it appears to be coming from a trusted, third-party source, rather than the company itself.
Let’s start by saying what a press release is.  Wikipedia defines it as “a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something claimed as having news value.”  This means if you have something that people would want to know about, the press wants to hear about it.  This can be anything from a charity event you are hosting to the hiring of a new employee.
Press releases have a very regimented format and will only be considered by the media if written correctly.  There are many online sources to guide you, and there are even entire books written about this topic.  Take a moment to read up on this to be sure that you don’t waste your time.
Once your press release is written, choose the media contacts that you will be sending it to.  They are usually listed on the websites of the papers and trade associations.  Remember, not all of the media contacts out there are looking for the same stories.  A charity event would be directed to most of the contacts, but a new employee would go to the business section writers and trade publications.  So think about what you are sending and be realistic.
Thank them when your article is used.  This is such a simple thing, but so many people forget to do this!  You like to be thanked when you do something nice. They do, too. 
The last tip I will leave you with… Only send a press release once.  You may not hear back from your contacts even if they plan on using your story, but do not hassle them.  Nothing will put you on their block list quicker.
So take a moment and learn to use this powerful tool.  Or give us a call.  We offer press release services.  Isn’t it time to see your name in the headlines?

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