Do you want your name out there so future customers know who you are and what you have to offer? An easy and inexpensive method is with a press release. You can submit a press release to your local newspaper, radio, magazine or television station, and your brand will be seen in your local community. In this article, we’ll focus on newspapers. You can use similar steps for the other media.
Newspapers are looking for cheap content especially now that they are cutting back on staff. First, study the newspaper and try to find a place where your story is most appropriate. Try to answer the question of what will pop off of the page. Then send your press release to the editor of that section.
What should you write about? You can write on a variety of topics such as:
- Something special about you. Did you grow up in the area? Did you relocate and find the place special? Are you a minority owned business? Did you just receive an award? Release a book?
- Upcoming classes, demonstrations, speeches, shows, seminars. If you’re out doing something, let people know where they can come and see you.
- Something special about your business. Are you doing something historically significant? Do you own a family run business that has been in the same family for generations? Is this a cutting edge business like no one has seen yet?
- Something timely. Have you just opened your business? Have you just released a website? Did your business just change owners and it’s a grand re-opening? Did you recently remodel?
- Something specific to the customer? Do you cater to gardeners? Homemakers? Sports fans? Do you produce something unusual like cast iron plows for historical re-enactment?
If you’ve never written a press release, you can hire someone to quickly write it up for you on elance.com, odesk.com, and guru.com. Make certain you read it over to verify that it communicates what you want it to say.
If you want to write one up yourself, there is a template at the end of the article that you can use.
Getting your press release published
First remember the number one mantra of selling. “What’s In It For Me?” Newspapers love a good story. And while you may be providing free content, it needs to be useful content.
If you’re participating at a fundraiser, the story could be on the charity, and your name and business would get mentioned. You could provide practical tips. If you were a plumber, they could publish an article on best practices on keeping your pipes in good working order, and recommended by you, a professional.
Secondly, ensure your press release is brief and to the point. Editors are busy people, and make up their mind about your press release very quickly because they get hundreds a day.
With your press release, include a letter to the editor about why they should publish your press release. Point out the usefulness and how their readers will appreciate the information. If you can provide additional information such as sidebars or photographs, be sure to mention it!
The fastest ways to get a press release published is to cold call the publication and give your best pitch. They may turn you down, or they may say that they’re interested but in something slightly different. Hooray! Make the adjustments, and send it in.
It is difficult to sell yourself; however, it’s important to remember that no one else will. Highlight the uniqueness of you or your product and provide useful information. People will be curious and want to find out more information. Remember, people do want to know more about your products and services. Press releases are a great way of achieving that for low or no cost.
Steps for Writing a Press Release
- Release Date
- Contact Information
- Catchy Headline
- Introduction similar to the dateline of a news article. Keep it simple and newsworthy. Provide the basic information what you’re wanting to publish.
- Main body just expands upon the introduction, contains the tips, the quotes, etc.
- Boilerplate. This is a line or two about your company and its mission.
- The word END
Congratulations, you’ve just written your first press release!