An informative press release provides free advertising and a marketing venue. But here’s how smart companies prosper by sending press releases…
1. Build credibility among existing and potential clients.
Let’s face it, we all know that print advertising is biased. The message is written—and controlled—by the advertiser and/or a hired PR firm. What’s better? A news article (press release) written by a third party (reporter), and of course all of the information, background, and quotes provided by you. The message is still controlled to a degree, just not in the form of traditional advertising. Essentially sending a press release works like a supporter tooting your horn on Facebook or Twitter, and everyone perks up to listen.
2. Develop relationships with influencers.
Editors and even reporters decide the news that’s fit to print, so make an effort to get to know them. Stay in their good graces by providing a steady stream of newsworthy information via a well-written press release: company changes or moves, new hires or promotions, expansion information, new products or services, etc. Be sure to address the editor/reporter/blogger by name, instead of, ‘To whom it may concern,’ or the like. You can’t develop relationships without knowing names. Be polite and friendly, and don’t make repeated follow-ups. Newspapers receive a number of press releases daily. If everyone followed up, they’d hardly have time to write. Once (if that) is enough. Consider the reporter your target audience. If you think about their needs first, then they’re sure to start thinking—and talking—about you.
3. Cultivate your brand’s image.
You’ve planted a seed. Now you have to water and fertilize it—put it out in the sunlight. Plants don’t grow in the dark and neither do companies, so get your name out there. Define what sets you apart from direct and indirect competitors and make that a cohesive unit with your brand. Press releases help you cast a wider net, just be sure you have something to say. Make every communication worth your customers’ time.
4. Paint yourself as an expert in your field.
You may think that your efforts are futile if you’re not seeing any direct coverage as a result of a persistent PR campaign. But have no fear—even if media outlets don’t run your story, it’s likely they’ll remember you. Your name will get filed away as a resource when a related story breaks. And when it does, all of those press releases will pay off and you’ll be ready and waiting for that call.
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