Have you considered a press release as a form of marketing for your company and your products? Sometimes this valuable tool is overlooked in place of more traditional advertising. The reason for this is because it is sometimes difficult to write a proper press release without coming across as a full sales pitch. The key point to remember is that sales pitches are highly frowned upon while news stories are much more likely to get picked up.
The hard part comes when you don’t have a newsworthy idea to help you write your release. Sometimes it’s quite easy because you are announcing the release of a new product or service, a new company altogether, or something that is new and fresh for the media to consider. So what do you when you don’t have a really newsworthy topic and you would like to send out a press release to generate some buzz about your company? You have to find a way to translate what you are doing into a news story.
Of course, creating a news story is much easier said that done. Considering that some reporters post press releases almost word for word as you have written it, you really have your work cut out for you. You want to write your release with the same appearance as a reporter would write a news story.
Start by really working out what marketing message you want to get across. Once you have this starting point, it will become easier to build your release around it. Now comes the brain storm session. Try and think of anything associated or related to your message that comes to your mind and write each and every idea down. It’s always best to do this with a team of your employees who can build on your ideas. You’ll be surprised by what you come up with.
Writing the press release should now revolve around the basic journalism rules of who, what, when, where, why, and how. By following these starting points in no particular order, you will be able to write your release logically and methodically using these six simple words.
When using these journalism basics to write your release about your company or product, write the story as if it were being written by a third party with no involvement from yourself. A nice tip is to include quotes from members of your company and this is best done in alternating paragraphs to maintain a nice flow. Be clear in your writing and stick to the point. Don’t include extra fluff that no one is interested in just to fill space. Sometimes the best press release is the shortest release. If the media needs more information and the story is interesting enough, they will be sure to contact you.
That leads into the final point. Leave your contact information at the bottom of the press release. It’s also a good idea to include that headshots are available in case the editors want your beautiful picture to grace their pages.
In closing, use the press release as part of your marketing plan but do so in a clear and responsible way and you will be quite pleased with the results.
Mike Wyman is co-creator of the online dating website for golfers, DateAGolfer.com and PuttingForPar.com, a golf website specializing in personalized ball markers.