You don’t have to have a PR person on staff to get the news about your business out to the media. If you have a new product, service, associate, location, or event happening in your business, consider writing and distributing a news release to help spread the word.
Writing and distributing a news release for your local media is not a complicated task, but there are a few things you should consider when using this method to deliver your message.
AND THE POINT IS?
The most effective news releases are succinct, usually no more than one page. The document should cover the “5 w’s” - who, what, when, where, why and also include the how of what’s going on in your business. It’s also important to establish a newsworthy angle in your release. What about your story makes it worthy of coverage? Remember, the media is serving their audience, communicate to them the aspect of your story that you believe would be compelling to their readers, listeners or viewers.
TARGET YOUR DISTRIBUTION
You’ll have a better chance of getting covered, if you reach out to the right reporters, producers and editors. Is your story of widespread community interest? Is it more industry focused? Is it something that would be of interest to other business owners and professionals? Identify, based on their specialties, the media outlets and media professionals that would be most likely to report your story and target your distribution to them. Update your media list at least once a year, so you are ready to go with a current list of contacts whenever you have news.
BE READY FOR YOUR CLOSE UP
Once you send your news release, make sure you are ready for coverage. Provide a contact name, phone and email on the release and make sure that person is ready, willing and available to respond if a reporter contacts them for an interview. Media outlets often work on daily, sometimes hourly, deadlines. If you want coverage, you may need to be willing to drop what you are doing to respond to an inquiry. A reporter may want to take photographs or video to accompany the story. Think about options in advance, so you can be ready to accommodate them if they need visuals.
The ultimate goal of a news release is to garner attention for something happening at your business. Positive news coverage can help establish credibility and raise consumer awareness. And even though sending a news release is the traditional way of reaching out to the media, you should not limit your distribution to just them. Post your release on your company website. Push it out on your social media platforms. Email it to your customer database. Also consider sending it to your trade association or any industry publications that might find your news relevant.
News releases are a powerful but frequently overlooked tool that can be invaluable for just about any type of business. If you haven’t added news releases to your marketing mix, you may be missing out on one of the most cost-effective ways to get the word out about your business.
Copyright - Chamber Speak LLC 2014