PR – Press Releases
Even though local media outlets have lost some of their marketing shine, it still pays to get free press for your business. Local media still touches a wide demographic but mostly older people consume it regularly. There is also a bit of clout that comes from newspaper coverage. Anyone can post on Facebook, not everyone can get in the newspaper. If your organization has something newsworthy, it’s a good idea to put out a press release. You can find templates for press releases all over the Internet. Keep in mind the goal with all marketing is to get someone’s attention. If you write press releases about non newsworthy things or write them in a boring way, you are likely going to be ignored by the press.
Press Releases are essentially news summaries for media outlets to review and consider. News organizations will republish press releases and some use it as a starting point for their content and will schedule an interview with your business. Any organization that might want to send press releases should start and update a list of potential media outlets to send press releases to. Since time is usually of the essence with the news, you will want this ready before you need it. In our small local market, we have lots of turnover in media staffing, so it’s important to periodically update that list.
Relationships help get press releases covered. If you have provided good news events for outlets in the past, they will be more likely to work with you in the future. If you send pointless press releases regularly, it is more likely that you will get passed over or ignored in the future. Journalists work under demanding deadlines, so you may have to relax your expectations and work with them to get your press release published.
Also, look at other local organizations that might help you push out your press releases. Check with your local chamber of commerce. These organizations regularly share press releases from member businesses.
In the broad realm, a well placed story on a major news outlet or blog can turn someone’s business fortunes quickly. If you earn exposure in a local news source, you usually get three coverages: The story in print/video, an article on their website, and a post on their social media page. Research the writers you want to contact and identify them by looking at their topics and see how you can contact them in a way that is meaningful to them. Consider what social media they use or things they care about. If there are multiple reporters to work with and one of them cares about dogs and our topic is about dogs, focus on that.
A lot of people want to talk to journalists, so make yourself stand out. Approach them via email/social/phone call with a concept for a story they can write about, or something that makes it unique. Be prepared for them, with time to talk, images they can use, or quotes they can pull.
This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com