Hot Off the Press
One of the best ways to get cost-effective—even free—exposure for your business is with press releases.
When I think of a press release, I think about major news events in the newspaper or special reports on television.
But the internet has changed all of that.
Now your company can use press releases to bring your business more exposure.
Here are some of the events you could write a press release about:
Starting your business.
Anniversary of starting your business.
Addition of new signs to rent.
Reaching a business milestone – 100th sign rental, etc.
Adding a new geographical area.
Celebrity rental . . . maybe the baby and family, along with your stork, were on television. (You don’t have to use names, but if you do, be sure to get a written release form signed beforehand.)
Having a special promotion.
Creating or updating your website.
Here are the steps:
1. Put your contact information in the top left corner: Name, Address, Phone Numbers, Email Address Link, Website Link.
2. Create a headline containing newsworthy information and key words.
3. Next comes the dateline at the very beginning of the first paragraph: the city and state following by the date.
4. Now comes the body of the press release. The information should cover the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, why) in a few paragraphs, giving specific information about the benefits of the product/service you provide. You could also include a quote from a satisfied customer. Whenever your company name appears, be sure it’s a hyperlink to your website. At the end of the body of the press release, type “—END—”
5. Be sure to include a call to action in the body of the press release. You can start with, “For more information on….” Then recommend they visit your website (make sure it’s a link) or call you (give your phone number) the next time a friend or family member has a baby.
6. Be sure to use hyperlinks to your website and email address every time they appear throughout the press release.
7. At the end of the document (after “—END—“) you can add notes to your readers. An example would be if you wanted to include a note to journalists telling them they have your permission to use any information and pictures from your website for an article about your business.
Here are a few tips:
1. Always write in the third person (he/she/they).
2. Keep it to one page.
3. Focus on both the media and your prospects.
4. Keep the search engines in mind.
5. Focus on one topic per press release.
6. Include a good, relevant picture.
Here are some ways to market your press release:
1. Add a tab to your website for news items and post your press releases (and any other news articles you’re featured in) there.
2. Write a blog version of the press release and post it on your blog with a link to the press release at the bottom. Then post a link to your blog post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
3. Send your press release to local newspapers, radio stations, tv stations and other appropriate publications. Check their websites for a link where you can send in your press release.
4. Distribute in online. There are lots of online services for this, including free ones like free-press-release-center.info, PRUrgent.com, free-press-release.com, pr.com.
5. Submit it to social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Technorati, and Digg.
6. Send it to your friends, business associates, and any relevant organizations in your contact list.
7. Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn accounts.
I’m sure that’s all you ever wanted to know about press releases but were afraid to ask.
It may take a little time and energy…but if your local newspaper or tv station sees your press release and does a feature on you, how much business could that potentially bring in?