Including PR in your marketing planning can play a key role in boosting your company’s profile by getting coverage in trade journals, magazines, blogs, podcasts, radio and other publications that cover your business sector.
A press release can also help to establish you as an industry expert to help you gain the trust of your customers and also good for media relations; whenever the media needs someone to comment on a story you’ll be the ‘expert’ they will call on.
7 steps to creating an effective press release
- Make sure you have a good reason to send a press release. A grand opening or launch of a new business, an innovative new product, a new location or a special event which might appeal to the medium’s readership are all good reasons to get the press interested.
- Content is key, so it needs to be appropriate for the publication or broadcast media – identify target media groups relevant to your ‘story’ and adapt accordingly. Don’t make the ‘scattergun approach’ mistake and randomly send to media without considering their audience (most media houses publish their readership profiles online).
- It should follow the standard format which will ensure readability: typed, double-spaced, with a contact person’s name, title, company, address and phone number within the top third of the release.
- Below the contact details an eye-catching headline in bold type: this needs to contain the key message of the story you are telling which will lead the reader to find out more.
- The release should be no more than one page covering the 5 W’s – who, what, when, where and why with the first paragraph more or less outlining the main story. Don’t embellish or hype up the information – you’re not writing the article but demonstrating why the information is relevant to that particular media in the hope that they will want to feature it. And remember, watch your spelling and grammar – a release full of typos is more likely to get dumped in the bin!
- Avoid making it sound like an advertisement for your business – it’s not a sales pitch! Any opinion given should be in ‘quotes’ and attributed to whoever said it.
- Most important of all, make sure you follow-up any interest which might be shown: ensure the contact indicated on the release is available and willing to give any further information or comments if asked.
If you’d like some help on planning your marketing activities Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 for an initial chat over a coffee!