There are many companies that issue press releases that offer both the writing and distribution of press releases on the world wide web. We used some of these companies and got very few results and paid off. In fact, as a local service company, we saw much more results in writing and distributing our press releases to local publications. Placing a press release simultaneously in many small local newspapers is sometimes as effective as posting your press release in a large edition. No matter what you hear, the fact is that newspapers still outperform local internet research methods when it comes to preparing customers for purchase. The only difference is the price of the ad. Newspapers are very expensive to “advertise” but they will publish your press release for free!
Writing a good press release and sending an email to the right people is usually the quickest and cheapest way for any small business to attract attention, attract new customers and orders. Unfortunately, most small businesses never write or distribute a single press release. You should make writing press releases and distributing them part of your comprehensive marketing program.
Many small businesses do not realize that many magazines and newsletters rely on press releases to fill their pages. They will use your letter as a “filler.” And all you have to do to print your press release in some publications is usually send the editor a copy of your press release.
We used a lot of free press releases when our business was new, when we didn’t have enough money to buy ads. We always use press releases for all good reasons. Over the years, we’ve learned that our main goals are when writing a press release:
- Get the consent of the editor of the newspaper for a press release and print it in the publication.
- After printing, that the press releases be read by those who received the publication in which the press release was printed.
- Get the response from people who read the press release and who are potential customers. The desired action is designed before the press release is written.
We found that writing a press release that looks and reads like a magazine article is more likely to end up as a featured article in the magazine than a press release that reads like an advertisement.
Here’s how to write a press release that will make your business stand out.
Guide to having a press release/article published
- Identify magazines, newsletters and newspapers whose readers are specifically interested in the product or service on which your press release is based. While “carpet bombing” works, try to avoid public service publications that cover a wide variety of topics and target only those that affect your potential customers.
- Once you have identified a particular publication that reaches your target audience, call and request a copy of the publication by mail.
- With the copy of the publication in hand, scroll through and identify press releases or press releases/articles printed on them.
- Use the sample press release or the article already printed in the selected publication as a guide to write your own press release. Structure your press release so that it closely resembles the press release already printed in the publication. Include all elements of the printed press release. This includes photos, character style, total length of press release, title length, everything.
- After writing and rereading your press release, print it out in a format suitable for the magazine. This is so you have an idea of what it will look like when the magazine accepts it. If the press release is too long or too short, correct it. You want to make sure that your press release/article is perfect for the magazine.
- Include the phrase “review copies available” in all press releases (but not in articles). This gives the publisher a chance to decide to write a full review of the product. Don’t do this on items as they should anyway be the equivalent of a review for the product.
- Always include a photo in the press release. We strive to publish the photo in a way that will most appeal to potential customers.
- Always send a press release in a 9 x 12 envelope, with a cardboard insert to prevent it from folding.