One of the most important strategies to integrate into your communications strategy is PR and media relations.
Paid advertising is an important and helpful way of growing your business. But don’t underestimate the reach of third party endorsement, of positioning your company as a NEWS MAKER by using the power of the public relations and, more specifically, of the news release.
Your business is news, it has a story to tell…a story that SETS IT APART in the loud and cluttered marketplace. But, nobody knows about it until you tell them! In this post I will be giving a bit of a primer on the elements and benefits of telling your company’s story through the targeted distribution of well crafted and strategically directed news releases.
To better understand the worth of a news release, let’s first answer the question, “What is a news release?”
In very simple terms, a news release is an announcement that is issued about a company, product or service. Releases are most often written by public relations professionals or copywriters and then distributed via a release service for a fee.
The most important questions to ask yourself before you decide to write and distribute a news release are:
- What’s the news? What are you announcing? Is this news truly newsworthy? If so, a release should be short and concise.Usually, what warrants a release should be limited to the launching of a company, the announcement of a new product or offering, financial good news, big hires or changes in company personnel, etc.
- Who would be interested in this news and why? For example: Is this just news that the local media would be interested in, or perhaps is the announcement something that should be pushed out nationally?Your answer will determine WHERE you send your release. Where do you want to distribute the release? Local? National? Do you want it to go to newspapers AND television/radio…or just blogs? What is the best distribution service to use?
- What are the key messages that you want to get across? These should be woven throughout the release’s copy.
- What are the keywords and elements that differentiate your company (or product) and this news from the competition? These, also, should be woven throughout the release’s copy.
- Who are your target audiences? Where do they get their information?
- What media (and thus your target audience) should be on that distribution list? Newspapers in particular have different editors for different sections of the paper. Ask yourself, is this a business story? Or, is it a feature/lifestyle story? Should you get this to the news editor or the business editor? Getting your release in the right hands (and in the RIGHT WAY) is CRUCIAL to it being read and included in the media outlet. Timing is important too: for example, there are certain days of the week that are better for news release distribution.
Once you’ve determined that YES! you do have some news to report, we are ready to draft the release. It’s important to know that there is a prescribed format to a news release: It must include some of the following:
- Contact information
- A clearly written and exciting headline
- A clearly written, to the point, “just the news” opening paragraph…because very often that is the ONLY piece of the release that gets printed/uploaded.
- Follow AP style
Main Benefits of news releases:
- Exposure and visibility are increased
- SEO increased via your keywords
- “Google juice” and “findabiliity” increased
- Your targeted audiences are exposed to your company’s news and key messages
- Targeted traffic
Getting your business’ name and unique offers out there is what will grow and expand your brand and ultimately impact your bottom line. We can help your businesses do this in many integrated ways; content, web management, content, programming, graphic design…AND strategically crafted and distributed news releases!
Are you ready to tell your story?! We’re here to help you spread the news. ? Contact Lori Jones today!