Despite the growth of social media, the classic press release remains a valuable promotional tool for most small businesses.
Writing a press release isn't particularly difficult, and entrepreneurs can easily figure out the
basics via free web resources (see links below). However, writing a fruitful press release requires some finesse—and vigilant editing.
"Double-check and triple-check for errors. Then, have a fresh set of eyes look it over again," says 10-year PR veteran Debra Goldblatt, founder of Toronto's successful Rock-It Promotions.
She also warns against clichés and over-used phrases like “fashionista” or "foodie."
"Keep it simple. Flowery language and hyperbole will get you negative attention."
There is some creative wiggle room in formatting (see www.publicityinsider.com for examples of releases), but key content should always respect the ABC's of good business communication: Authenticity, Brevity and Clarity. Press releases serve as 1-page professional introductions between small businesses and media outlets. As such they should be informational and enthusiastic, but not over-hype your service, product or event.
Goldblatt thinks newbies should focus on the essentials.
"Remember the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where and why). Such an easy step and yet people miss it all the time," she says. "Media use your press release to help craft their story, so you want to make it as thorough and easy as possible for them to grab information." And, she says, they should usually be written in the third person—this makes it easier for reporters to quote the release directly.
Toronto-based Financial Planner Shannon Simmons writes her own press releases, and has made appearances on Toronto's popular CityLine morning show. She's known for her entertaining budgeting and tax seminars, which she promotes with signature kookiness (imagine Carol Burnett, but offering sage financial advice).
She suggests DIY-publicists aim to trigger the media's curiosity.
"Be creative. Make sure you have a catchy header—it has to get the reader's attention in 5 seconds or less," Simmons says. "I usually write in the tone of the media company I'm pitching to. If it's a more playful publication, I'll keep the tone upbeat."
Similar to tweaking a covering letter for a job application, Simmons cleverly customizes her media releases, modifying them to appeal to each target. She also links to witty video-clips of herself presenting money-saving tips; an approach that quickly demonstrates her humour, and on-air ease.
For more impact, a press release can incorporate links to a company's website or blog, video (eg. a tour, demonstration or event footage) and photo galleries. Even an amateur video recorded with a webcam has the potential to impress, if the content is strong and relevant.
Becky Johnson is a crafter, writer and actor who organizes improv nights and workshops as well as the mammoth City of Craft event—Toronto's largest independent art & craft show held each December. She’s earned media support from numerous arts and craft publications as well as NOW Magazine, the Toronto Star, the National Post and various local blogs (Torontoist, BlogTO, etc.).
"Be clear about what you are promoting," Johnson says. "I know this sounds crazily obvious, but I get press releases all the time full of rationale and artspeak, but very foggy on particulars."
She says releases should lead with the what, follow with the how and end with the why—bigger themes that might be explored by a journalist writing a more involved article. And, she also discourages sending out huge e-blasts to random media contacts.
"Before sending a release, do as much research as you can about the people you're sending
it to,” she says. “A focused and tailored mailing list will garner more results."
Rock-It Promotions' Goldblatt agrees.
"If you have a cupcake shop, but a writer recently wrote a piece about their disdain for sweet sugary things—don't pitch them,” she says. “It's not a science, but more about investing time and energy."
Publicity Insider: http://www.publicityinsider.com
Classic DIY Marketing Books (with sections on press releases):
Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch (2011 update)
Guerrilla Marketing (series ~ 20+ titles) by Jay Conrad Levinson
Debra Goldblatt of Rock-It Promotions
Shannon Lee Simmons
Looking for ideas to send press release? You’ve come to the right place. The benefits of press release distribution is widely known by Internet marketers worldwide, but to get a few ideas for press release writing – that’s the challenge.
Sometimes it’s super easy to write a press release, but at other times nothing seems to go through your mind. There are many example press releases around, but if you are wanting more, we have got something to help your writing.
So what do we do? We research through magazines, websites, newspapers, blogs, example press releases — any source of information and inspiration for press release topics that we can find to help us write up an seo press release or any article for that matter.
But what if you had a compilation of all these ideas for press release at one location?
That’s right, you don’t have to worry again about not having ideas for a press release writing — you can find it all here in this article.
There are usually several things that you can use to write a press release, namely, news related to your brand, product or company. These are usually the easiest because anything that happens to your brand, product or company is something big.
Here are your 61 ideas for your next press release:
- Launch of new website or significant upgrade to existing website
- New company establishment or spin-off
- Company reorganization/Adding new business unit
- Milestone achievements
- Company anniversaries (eg. 50 years in business)
- Office relocation or new venue
- Mergers and acquisitions
- New executives and other personnel changes
- Business rebranding
- Company or Business Unit name change
- Product or Brand name change
- Ownership transfers or new partner
- Adopting corporate social responsibility
- Initial Public Offerings and Stock offerings
- Financial and earnings updates
- Securing business funding from Business Angels or VCs
Sometimes your company hasn’t done anything for quite some time, but you decide to hold a contest or promotions — that’s something worth telling everyone about too! But of course, just make sure you don’t hardsell it too much or you might breach standard press release guidelines and get scorned by the distribution sites! And always make sure you follow the standard press release format.
Here are some of pricing and promotional examples:
- Free consultations, samples or trial offers
- Free shipping offer/changes in shipping rates
- Latest contests
- Discounts or vouchers up for grabs
- Social Media Giveaways
- New contests and sweepstakes
- Holiday-related/time-limited sales and promotions
- New features/unique uses for existing products
- Referral rewards
Even if you have announced all your launches and promotions, you must be an expert in whatever niche you’re at — so why not talking about your expertise and boost your credibility? Whatever research and case studies, reports, statistical analyses you’ve conducted for your business, it’s good to share and what better way to do it than with a press release writing.
Here are some examples to help you out:
- Reaching your 100,000th customer
- New data release/study about your market
- Helpful tips or content for customers
- Business or industry trend change
- Winning an industry recognized award
- Release of educational information, ebooks, newsletters and white papers
- Joint stages or media appearances
- Debunking of common “myths” related to your industry
- Inspirational stories from customers
- Predictions about the economy
- Talks, focus groups, live seminars
- New technology trends affecting your industry
- Watchlist or warning alert about certain matter in your industry
- Expert opinion about a topic in your industry
- Releasing of Tips sheets or feature stories like “10 Creative Secrets of Social Media Marketing“
- Your opinion/findings or comments about a trending event
- Creative and Outlandish event like “Big Santa Cookie at only $600 a piece”
How about the time your agency won over the accounts for Nike? Or the time when you got a famous celebrity or guru to endorse your products for you? Yep — announce that.
Also make sure that it is a recent occurrence:
- Celebrity and public figure endorsements, use or product purchase
- Important customer interview, story and case studies
- Customer acquisition milestones (100th customer, 500th customer, 1 million customers, etc)
Most companies also hold events such as charity balls, seminars, webinars, trainings and it’s always good to let people know that such things exist — so people can attend! These are also a good source of ideas for press release.
Isn’t that the purpose? So remember to include the time and place for these events in your press release writing!
- Voluntary work
- Local event or team sponsorships
- Recent charitable contributions
- Inspirational stories
- Internship Program/Placement
- Working for free
- Scheduling of in-person seminars or calls
- Success of events held with event related facts
- Appearance at a trade show or live interviews
- Scheduling and success of Web events
- Event sponsorship or partnership
- Running Webinars
Finally, we can’t expect a perfect world where everyone lives harmoniously without fights or mishaps. Hopefully we won’t see many of these ideas for press release on press release distribution sites but lawsuits and natural disasters do occur, and the big cases are usually worth writing about!
- Filing a lawsuit
- Response to being named in a lawsuit
- Response to accusations against your company or industry
- A natural disaster/killing/threat
There you have it, 61 ideas at your disposal. Sending out a press release can never be easier! Anytime you need inspiration or a fresh idea — just drop by at this page.
*Need help with writing? Why not let MarketersMedia write it for you using these ideas for press release?