How to Create Your Own Press Release
Who has time for a press release? Many business owners find themselves struggling in our current economy. Businesses are tightening their purse strings. One of the first budgets that tends to get cut is the advertising budget. As a fellow business owner, I get it. It’s easier to start back pedaling than to turn away loyal workers.
So what’s a struggling business to do?
Take advantage of FREE press! Yes, the good old-fashioned press release is still as good as gold in today’s economy. Start building a rapport with local news agencies–print, television, radio, and online news agencies are all great places to start.
Press Release Ingredients
Start with an awesome headline. The headline should illustrate your main point using action verbs. Eliminate extraneous the’s, that’s, a’s, an’s, and prepositions. Make the headline really pop with tight language and even a cute/fun turn of phrase.
Hint: Don’t always make your headline all about you. Look at the bigger picture. If you can tie you announcement into a local or national event or headline, go for it! It shows that you’re community minded.
Follow up with a great subheading. This is your chance to highlight important secondary information. Think of your subheading as a second way to solidify your headline and grab a news agency’s attention.
Hint: Think cause and effect. What is happening as a result of your headline?
Create a solid introductory paragraph. This includes your dateline (City, State, Date) and the who, what, when, where, why, and how of your story?
Hint: Include the information that affects the most people first.
Add a few relevant quotes. Quotes always add an underline to your main statement. Use industry experts, partners, or even yourself. Reporters love it when you do the work for them!
Hint: Be sure the quotes are relevant to your business and your topic.
Close with some final background information and a company bio. Finish with a closing paragraph with additional details–maybe dates, times, event info., etc. This is your last chance to add any final tidbits. Close out by adding your bio below. Include basic boilerplate information and your contact information that can be placed at the bottom of any press release that you issue.
Hint: Be sure to add a line with only (###) centered above your company bio and below the press release text. This is a standard separator between your article and bio.
Extra Hint: Adding your logo to the top gives your press release a finished, professional look.
A word about attachments. Please refrain from adding attachments to your emailed press release. Reporters are leery of opening such unrequested items, and most news agencies have policies against such practices as well.
Hint: If you have a head shot, product shot, etc. that you’d like to include, keep it on hand. If the news agency needs a photo, they’ll call and request it.
If you’re physically mailing or delivering a more in-depth press kit, please be sure that your recipient is interested. Press kits can be expensive to produce, and you certainly don’t want it tossed into a trash bin upon delivery.
Here are some items you can include.
Hint: Too much is overwhelming. Pick a handful of the most supportive materials to include. If they want something else, they’ll call and ask for it.
Press Kit Ingredients
- Press Release/Letter of Introduction including company background info.
- Recent Press
- CD/DVD w/pics and/or videos
- Token Sample
- Contact Info
Other Items to Include
- Nonprofit and community-service involvement
- Recent awards
- Factual background material and/or white papers
- Specific information and schedules of upcoming promotions and events
- Significant statistics specific to your industry, demographics and target audiences
- Feature article material, such as articles written by company officers or senior management
- Missions, goals & objectives
- Samples or examples
- Camera-ready logo art
- Giveaway information
- Order form
Be sure to post your press release or press/media kit on your website, facebook, LinkedIn, etc. After all, it’s free advertising so you should take advantage of every avenue available.
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