Example Press Releases
Even though in more recent years the way we communicate is changing, the top method that companies use to share information about their business is via a press release. Other than some social media platforms – which remain a mystery for many as to how to best leverage them to share information – the press release continues to be a viable method to tell others what’s happening.
There’s a perception that press releases are a quick and easy way to get free publicity, and that can be true – with a few caveats.
Written well, a press release becomes the launchpad for multiple news stories. A single piece can be transformed and repurposed into multiple published pieces by a variety of news media and other outlets.
The real benefit is initially tied to the intangible. If the angle is flattering to your organization or products, you may find a more direct result on the bottom line, as casual surfers become prospects and ultimately buyers.
It’s important to note just how many press releases fall flat of expectations. The reasons range from a lack of appropriate targeting to truly irrelevant content pushed out, just to be pushed out. When a press release distribution is not part of a larger strategy but a one-off issue, it’s also more than likely to deliver lackluster results. Zilch. Nada. Nothing.
With the latter, no one reads them. No one at all. They’ll never make the desk of the reporters you’re looking to connect with.
Poorly crafted press releases do more than just fall flat: They can put your credibility into question. After all, if you don’t care enough to send out a proper press release, how much care goes into your other activities?
If the content requires translation into layman’s language, you’ve lost.
If the content is cluttered with excess verbiage, you’ve lost.
This doesn’t mean that you write as if you’re talking with your best buddy, but it does mean that you must consider your audience.
Do you need rules? There’s nothing set in stone – or in writing, but there are unwritten rules of understanding.
Rule #1: Have news. Why would someone care about what you’re saying? What are you doing that affects other people, your community or an industry? It doesn’t necessarily have to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but you do need to demonstrate real value.
Rule #2: Write like a reporter. You read news – you watch news. Think about the approach to other stories that these media use and craft your message. It’s common for complete paragraphs or even nearly whole pieces of content to be excerpted and used as is. That’s when you know you’ve done something right.
Rule #3: Forget the fluff. You wouldn’t want someone to waste your time talking about how excited they are. People want tangible benefits. What does this mean for them? It needs to be personal or relevant and meaningful.
No one arrives on the doorstep of a new business and says, “I’m here to answer all your marketing questions.” It’s typical for business owners starting out to either ignore using press releases because they don’t understand what can result or they simply don’t know what purpose they serve.
Finding a reason to issue a press release isn’t the tough part. Every situation is different and the way it changes the world is different for everyone. Consider:
It’s easy to get carried away, adding extra wording to fill empty space. It’s also easy to incorporate lofty language that complicates a message. Focus on explaining what problem you’re solving. How will the buyers benefit from owning it? There is an exception where language is concerned: When you’re issuing a release to members of the media who cover your industry and there’s an understood lingo that others in the industry would use.
It makes sense to announce when new associates join your company, both from the angle of keeping your business name in front of reporters, from sharing how your company is growing, and associated goodwill for welcoming a new hire. Remember to explain why this person is important: what does he or she bring to the table in terms of experience and what are they going to do? This type of press release works well both from a local perspective and from an industry perspective.
What can you offer in the way of a Top 10 list? Or any variation? What’s important is what tips you’re offering.
You know your industry, your business. What insight can you bring to bear on current news? Give your two cents – but keep it to that limit.
It’s natural to want to publicize a grand opening, but it may be less obvious when you add a new offering to your menu or agenda or product line. When it’s an event, you want to pay extra attention to offering access, either pre or post-event when members of the media can speak with senior staff or take pictures.
Find a way to incorporate factual details in your release. These may be an interpretation of how research changes how your industry operates or how decisions are made. Find the facts, and you find a story waiting to be told. Be clear about the source of the data and make it easy to be found.
Local to National
Springboard your local news to a national level. What are you doing that’s different from anyone else?
It wouldn’t surprise you if We told you that the most important characters in your entire press release are the first two dozen in your headline. It used to be you had a few seconds to make a connection, but, for those people who are now reading their email and news on handheld devices, they’re only going to see the beginning of your headline. You’re already competing with hundreds of releases coming their way every day. Seize the opportunity and be clear and succinct.