A well-written press release can result in positive news articles about your business and its products and/or services. Those articles may be published in newspapers, online blogs and a variety of business-related newsletters.
Links to PR articles can also be shared via social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn—the potential reach of a well-written press release is endless.
By definition, a press release, news release, media release, press statement or video release is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something newsworthy.
Note the use of the word “newsworthy”. The info being shared in a press release can’t obviously market your business—it has to share information that appears to be news.
Traditionally, press releases have been used to announce events, changes in management or company ownership, and even awards and special recognition. Press releases can also be used to inform readers of industry changes that may impact consumers.
DIY or hire a pro?
Small business owners who are confident and comfortable with their writing skills can take a shot at writing their own press releases with the tips shared below.
Those who don’t have the time or desire to write their own press release should consider hiring a local public relations firm like PR Consulting.
Local PR pros have experience and established media connections that can make a difference in whether a story gets published—they can often identify an appropriate angle to the story that will make it newsworthy.
DIY tips for writing a killer press release.
- Use strong headlines and have a newsworthy opening—work to grab the reader’s attention in the first sentence.
- Keep the press release short and on topic–one page is sufficient.
- Think about the audience of the publications you’re submitting the PR piece to, not just your clientele. Consider why they would care about the info being shared.
- Gather all the facts first, and then write about the facts.
- Use quotes from business owners, industry experts, etc.
- Provide an image other than the company logo—photos that include owners or employees usually capture the attention of readers.
- Include the business’ contact info at the bottom of the press release, like a link to the website where readers can go to learn more.
Lastly, to help decide what information should go into your DIY press release, try to answer the following questions:
- Who? Who are the key players?
- What? What is new or different?
- When? What is the timing of this?
- Where? Where is this happening?
- Why? Why is this news important?
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