Why press releases should be a part of your marketing strategy
When you mention the word PR, many business owners recoil and think ‘it’s not for me’, with visions of paparazzi, cameras, and being put in the spotlight. Well, yes, spotlighting is something we all look for in our businesses, but not in the glitzy sense.
What is a press release?
A press release, quite simply, is a short write-up to let the media know about an important piece of news. The clue is here; it should be newsworthy.
Why is a press release an important part of your marketing?
If you have a business then people need to know about it, about you, and about your product. Unless you are a global business that does not have to elbow its way into getting press coverage, then you need to be using all avenues open to you to get noticed. Getting into the local or national press or industry-specific publications is all part of telling your story.
What should a press release be used for?
A press release can be used in many ways including:
· A forthcoming event
· A product launch
· An award or accreditation
· An achievement such as a fundraising target
· A development in your business such as a buy out or partnership
· An important new member of staff
When should you send out a press release?
You should focus your press releases around important pieces of news. Too many and you will get pushed to one side; too few and you will not be noticed. Make sure the release is sent out in good time. The press work on quite tight schedules and like to plan in advance. Sending a release out the day before you would like to see it published is a no no. Give editors and producers (if for tv and radio), the time to sift through the information you are sending and to come back to you for further information, images or quotes. Make their job as easy as possible and you will get better results.
Where do I start?
Larger companies and corporates will have their own marketing staff to produce press releases. If you do not have this facility in house then you may want to consider outsourcing this work to a freelancer (content/copywriter), or to a PR agency. Finding a good agency or freelancer hinges on many things such as availability, writing style, charges v budget, and easy communication. Do your homework, listen to recommendations and shop around. Investing a bit of time and money in putting press releases on your marketing strategy will be worth it.