Are you leveraging the power of the press release for your organization? Or, are you thinking “It is 2019, are press releases still a thing?”
YES. Yes, they are. Not only are press releases still relevant and useful, but they are also even more in demand NOW than they were a decade ago. If your organization makes a habit of doing releases and putting aside the time each month to craft them and distribute them (or hire an agency to do so for you), your organization will benefit from the coverage. Moreover, the publications (whether print or digital), that your target audience reads and subscribes to, want to hear from your organization. WHY, you ask? Easy. Your organization matters to THEIR readers and by giving them news going on in your organization, you are helping to make their job easier. You are providing these publications news of what is going on the market that matters to their readers and by extension their readership metrics (which affects their advertising dollars).
For our clients, we typically do press releases at least once a month, sometimes more frequently (depending on industry and size). One of the main questions we are asked, is “What should I talk about?” Easy. Do you have a new product? A new service? A new employee? Did you or your organization win an award? Have you or your organization received any industry recognition? Have you embarked upon a new partnership? Have you made organizational changes that could benefit your customers? Did your organization do anything to help your community? Any of these? Congratulations, you have news to share! Now that you have news to share, share it like it is your business! Press releases are an incredibly cost-efficient way to not only spread the news BUT to get free coverage for your organization.
So, what is in a press release?
First and foremost, you have to have a good headline. It needs to not only capture the reader’s attention, but it also needs to be clear, concise, and factual. You don’t need to go for “catchy” or “witty”, go for factual and relevant as many publications will alter the headline when they use your release. Next is your opening sentence. You will want your opening sentence to be accurate, detailed, and catchy. This is where you hook the reader and the publication. After that, your audience will want to read more, so give them more! This is where you have the body of the press release. What is the story? What is the reason for this release? And, more importantly, WHY does it matter? Last, but most definitely not least, make sure to include your contact information. We have seen many great releases go out from organizations that do not have your contact information. Don’t make it hard for these publications to get in touch with you if they have questions. For our customers, we usually include a brief paragraph about their organization at the bottom of a release just for additional information for the publication.
Remember, press releases are NOT informal pitches, so please don’t phrase them as such, and do not expect them to behave that way. These are official announcements from your organization to the public. Take the time, write them in a professional manner and send them out in a professional manner (or hire an agency to do those tasks for you).
Press releases are a great way to help keep your organization’s name in the news (in a good way). So, take the time to examine your organization and see how you could be leveraging the press release to your benefit.