Businesses that use press releases to promote their products, services and activities face a tough reality: Editors have no obligation to provide a spotlight. Their only concern is putting out a publication filled with news and information of interest to their readers. If a press release contains relevant content, it will likely get published. If it doesn’t, the trash bin awaits.
To get the positive publicity that can add visibility and buzz to your marketing mix, follow these story guidelines and give choosy editors the newsy content they covet.
Highlight Something New. Editors are always looking to bring readers late breaking developments. If you don’t have something completely new, try gaining attention with a product improvement, an old item with a new name or package, added accessories or applications, etc. Make it clear what’s better and why, and what problem it solves.
Introduce A New Client Or Contract. It’s Business PR 101: Big clients and contracts attract other big clients and contracts. If you plan to add staff to help meet new obligations, make sure that’s conveyed – editors on local papers will want to write about a firm creating new job opportunities. As a side bonus, some observant potential employees might get in touch, which would cut down on recruitment costs.
Share Your Expertise. Offering authoritative knowledge can be a great way to build trust with editors. Give a professional opinion on something in the local or national news and add some fresh perspective to the original story. Become a reliable commentator on a specific problem or industry and eventually the press will come to you instead of vice versa.
Announce An Award. Coverage of awards is an always-in-demand press staple. Almost every mainstream or industry newspaper or magazine has a story in it about a recent award. The coverage is often accompanied by a photo of the smiling winner and some details about the company or organization he or she represents. If you do win something, don’t just rely on the publicity prepared by the award organizers. Send your own.
Survey Customers. Use your website, social media channels, an e-blast, or direct mail to find out what people think about issues related to your business or industry. Engage enough of a target audience, and editors will jump at the chance to publish survey results.
Get Involved With A Charity. Having a positive impact on the lives of people in need is always newsworthy. Supply volunteer support and resources to help a deserving charity fulfill a goal or provide services in the community. If the charity is relevant to your business, even better. Don’t expect much for just donating cash though. That’s too commonplace and check presentation photos are often yawn-inducing.
If an editor picks up the release and runs a piece for a magazine, newsletter or website, you’ll receive the space free, gain the credibility of implied third-party endorsement, and reach a wider audience. Writing with clarity, accuracy and relevant details will make it easy to deliver news worth sharing.