2018 – Press Releases should be a regular part of any small business marketing program. Once you know the basics, they can be done in 1-2 hours, and uploaded to the world via inexpensive services such as Webwire ($35), PR Log, PR Web and others.
Press Releases don’t have to be written by expensive PR agencies or advertising agencies. Assuming that you know proper grammar and spelling, and have access to the content, you can do it yourself for a lot less money. A small business can use press releases to announce: a new company being formed, a new service or product line, a new company division, an acquisition, a new technology, survey results, an upcoming conference or other event, the awarding of a government bid, etc.
One major thing to keep in mind. The “story” should be newsworthy in order for it to get picked up by reporters and writers. Have something of substance to say. Include statistics or findings.
Here are the basics:
- Include a date and your company’s location (July 11, 2018 – Tampa, FL) in the opening paragraph
- Create a catchy headline that gets to the heart of the matter. A sub-heading can be used as well. Example: Title: Scams Cost Americans $257 Billion Per Year. Sub-heading: New Book by Marketdata LLC Reveals Nation’s Top 26 Scams.
- Use bullet points for major findings, to make it easy to read.
- Highlight key words and link them to the relevant pages of your website. This is for SEO purposes so the search engines see them.
- Use a quote if possible somewhere in the release.
- Use a graphic or photo
- Use attachments if permitted. For example, if you have a new report, attach a Pdf containing the Table of Contents, whitepaper, media kit, etc.
- Include a section About The Company, About The Author, etc. where you briefly describe what your company does
- Try to schedule the distribution of your release on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday morning (6 or 7 AM). Monday is the most crowded day when thousands of release comes out, so yours will get lost in the flood. Weekends are bad because workers are off. Fridays can be tough because workers are thinking about the weekend and many leave early.
- Include contact information such as your website address, phone number, contact person and email, so interested parties may connect with you for more details.
- The ideal length of the release should be 800-900 words.
- Use a concise business writing style. Don’t get flowery or too wordy.
- Include some “call to action” – Offer a freebie of some kind, ask people to visit your website or call you, offer a free phone consult.
- Include links to your Facebook and LinkedIn pages so readers can share your release.
- Don’t use a press release to announce a promotion of an employee to a new position. No one cares. It’s not national newsworthy.
You should use Press Releases regularly, maybe once a month. At $35 each on Webwire, it doesn’t cost a lot. By comparison, if you ask an agency to write it for you, they will charge anywhere from $250-500, plus the cost of distribution. With PRWeb (Cision) that distribution service can run $99 to $389. So, you are looking at potentially $349 to $639 per release. Most distribution services also offer discounts on annual packages and subscription services.
Don’t worry if the release doesn’t come out perfect the first time you write it. Distribution services like Webwire and others let you come back and edit it before final submission, as many edits as your need. Look at how other companies write their releases and what topics they cover by going to the website of a distributor like PR Web (prweb.com/recentnews).
Some services also let you embed a video into your news release, for a little more money. That can be powerful, as video is very popular today and it stands out and can tell your story in an entertaining and interactive way.
In conclusion, writing and submitting press releases for distribution is not rocket science. If you are a decent business writer, take a day to learn the basics and do it yourself to save a lot of money. Press releases are one key part of the marketing effort, and should be included in any company plan, especially a new or small business.
Remember to use the “marketing rule of 7”. The potential buyer of your product or service must see your message and interact with you in a variety of ways. Today, it’s probably more than 7 touchpoints. These may include the following:
- your company website
- direct mail brochures or letters
- national press releases
- online ads
- company Facebook page
- company Linkedin page
- You Tube videos, Instagram posts
- blog posts
- email campaigns
- in person sales calls
- joint venture partners
- online affiliate programs
- trade shows or conferences
- content marketing: articles, whitepapers
Note: To view ongoing business posts by Marketdata’s President and Research Director, John LaRosa, and to learn about our various market & industry reports, and to obtain free Press Releases, visit marketdataenterprises.com/blog, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.