One necessity of every business regardless of size or industry is exposure: exposure to generate awareness; exposure to attract new customers; and exposure to increase sales. Without a consistent promotion and marketing strategy, a business will wither and die, regardless of how good its product or service.
While advertising is often seen as an expensive and necessary evil, one tried and true free publicity method that can be used for any business is the press release.
What is a Press Release?
A press release is a form of written communication that is directed to members of the news media. In contrast to an article or opinion piece, a press release follows a specific format. In a nutshell, it includes information on a newsworthy announcement or event for the business and a brief description of the business itself.
The press release is submitted to various media sources. While just a decade ago, the may have been submitted by mail or fax, the majority of press releases are now submitted either by mail or by newswire.
Who Can Use a Press Release?
Working with small businesses, I've often heard one business owner or another grumbling at the fact that their competitor received coverage in one or more of the local newspapers or publications. Have you felt that way? Have you ever asked yourself, "Why did they do a story on them and not my business?"
The odds are that the story started out as a press release submission by your competitor. As you are reading through the paper next time, notice the stories that are without a byline. Those articles are ones that were not written by the publication staff, but were submitted as a press release. Occasionally, a press release will spark a writer's interest and they will take the release and expand it into their own article. However if the press release is well written, often the publication will run it as is. For example, the majority of the articles in the Business News section on this site have been submitted by businesses.
The point is, it is entirely within your power to generate your own press. A well written and precisely timed press release can be a powerful and cost effective component to any business's marketing plan.
This article is the first in a six part series on how to use press releases in your marketing efforts. Check back for future installments.
- Free Business Publicity with Press Releases
- Tips for Effective Press Releases
- Publishing Your Press Release: Local Media
- Press Releases and the Web
- Press Release Tips from Kingwood Experts
- Press Release Case Study Examples
For more information on press release creation or submission services, please contact us