If your organization has a big announcement to share with the public, how will you spread the news? Send an email blast to your contacts? Create a post for your LinkedIn page? Contact your local news station?
While those are all viable options, your best bet is still the press release. Sure, some may say that method is archaic, but I am here to tell you that distributing a press release is still one of the most effective ways to get the word out that something big has happened within your company! Not convinced? Keep reading.
A press release is an official news statement that informs the public about an important announcement. The ultimate goal is to capture the interest of a news reporter with the release so that the reporter will not only publish the news about your company but will also be interested enough to schedule a follow-up interview and make the story even bigger.
The release also serves several other important purposes.
The many virtues of the press release
- A press release can efficiently share information about an event, product, business decision, or acquisition. With proper distribution, it can reach a large audience and increase a company’s visibility.
- A press release informs current clients, prospects, investors, and industry peers about important company news. It allows a company to stay relevant in a market that is saturated in competition. A press release entices readers to visit the company’s website, which will further inform interested parties of the company’s values, mission statement, and unique selling points (BONUS).
- When coverage of an organization’s press release appears in top tier publications or key industry magazines, it boosts the company’s credibility. Third-party validation is important when attracting the attention of prospective or existing clients. It is important to note, what others say about you is just as valuable to your company’s reputation as the things you are publishing about yourself. Use this to your advantage!
How to get noticed
Here’s a staggering fact: in 2017, 236,356 press releases were issued. That’s about 1,092 press releases per day.
Out of those 236,356 press releases issued, imagine how many failed to catch the eyes of the reporters.
If you want your press release to stand out from the rest, be sure to incorporate the following components:
- A captivating headline
- An informative introduction that reveals who, what, where, when, and why.
- A quote (or two) that provides a personal touch
- A link that directs readers to a company’s website
I know what you’re thinking: a press release is hardly the most glamorous method of communication. You’re right! There’s no denying that other mediums of announcing or promoting company news can be more eye-catching—you could design a landing page, write a blog, run a contest, create a social campaign, or release a video. However, think of a press release as the foundation that gives the reader the facts of the announcement in a succinct and direct way.
A strategic plan is important
The steps before sending out the press release are crucial to the success of the announcement.
Step 1: Does your announcement actually warrant a release? First, you should ensure that your announcement is “newsworthy.” If you are launching a new product, have an exciting promotion to share, signed on a well-known client, or you’ve been in business for fifty years, you should definitely send out a press release. However, if the information you’re conveying does not pertain directly to investors, clients, and potential clients, you may want to think about communicating your information in a different way.
Step 2: Develop a distribution plan that includes the following information:
- Date of distribution
- Target audience
- Boilerplate that gives a synopsis about the company with a direct link to the website
- A picture that will accompany the release
Step 3: Create a media list equipped with relevant industry reporters—a reporter who covers fashion will not be interested in an acquisition announcement (unless, of course, the announcement involves one fashion icon acquiring another).
Step 4: Write a carefully crafted pitch, tailored to each reporter individually, to accompany the press release that describes the relevance and importance of the news.
Step 5: Choose a wire service, if distributing on a large scale—PR Newswire, for example.
Step 6: Utilize social media as a catalyst for reaching a larger audience. Sharing the press release on your social media channels will help to maintain momentum.
Step 7: Give the reporters a few days to look over the announcement but be sure to follow up to answer any questions or reemphasize the importance of the news.
Do you still need convincing that a press release is an effective way of spreading your news?
The traditional press release still plays a vital role in today’s media landscape. However, that does not mean it should take the place of digital marketing efforts. Both means of communication should be utilized to ensure a seamless marketing strategy with maximum exposure.
Press releases are here to stay!
If you adhere to the guidelines above when creating a press release, you will learn why this form of communication remains an effective technique for getting your news across to the masses.