In a bygone era, press releases were the way to market your business to a large-scale audience. You would write one up, fax it out to the wire services, and hope it would get picked up by a newspaper or other publication. However, with SEO strategies, social media marketing, and digital advertising, sending out press releases has fallen by the wayside a bit.
So, should press releases still be a part of your small business’s marketing strategy? The answer is yes, if they are done correctly.
When to Write a Press Release
Press releases should be used strategically. You should write one when you have something “newsworthy” to report about your business. Examples for small businesses include things like new product launches, moving to a new location, reaching a major company milestone, or receiving an award.
How to Write a Press Release
Once you have an interesting topic on which to write, it’s time to get started!
If you have someone on your staff who is a great writer (great, not good), have them study up on the proper format for writing a press release. A simple Google search for “how to write a press release” will yield more than a billion results (literally). You’ll find advice, templates, as well as services that will write a press release for you.
The title of your press release should immediately grab the reader’s attention. Use action verbs and adjectives. For example, the title, “Los Angeles Advertising Company Dominates Prestigious International Design Competition with Multiple Top Awards” is far more compelling than, “Advertising Company Wins Awards.”
The key to writing a press release is to make sure it clearly presents your company’s news. You should note, most of the places that pick up your press release will print it verbatim, so it should be well-written—free from grammatical errors and typos. You want your press release to represent your company well, and putting out a press release that’s riddled with mistakes is a sure-fire way to present your company in a negative light.
Your press release should also contain links to your company’s website when appropriate. Today’s conventional knowledge says that including two or three links is best– one link to the homepage of your company’s website, and the others can lead to other pertinent pages on your site.
If you don’t have anyone in-house who can confidently write a killer press release, there are plenty of people who are willing to do it for you. You can find a freelance writer on sites like Fiverr, or even better, hire a small business PR or marketing firm that specializes in such things.
What to Do with a Press Release
Once you have your press release written and edited, it’s time to get it out there. A great wire service for small businesses to start with is PRWeb. It’s relatively affordable, yet still effective in distributing press releases, and it’s also user-friendly for new press release writers.
After the wire service has sent out your press release, look for the most impressive publication that has picked up your press release and create a post on your social media that links to the resulting article. If you have a “News” section on your website, you can also add a link to the article from that page.
Writing a press release takes some time and effort, and has some hard costs associated with it, but overall, including press releases as a part of your company’s marketing strategy is still a good idea.