The Press Release: Useful or Harmful to Your Brand?

Leadership

The internet is a great source of information. It’s all there!

And a press release serves as an excellent tool to market your small business. If done well, your press release can get you a stampede of clients wanting to know about your business, your products, your offerings, best rates – everything!

However, if not done correctly, your business might have to suffer a great deal of embarrassment and things may just backfire!

Does that imply that you consciously choose to ignore the press release as a part of your marketing plan?

Here are some reasons why you cannot do that:

It’s your brand out there!

Marketing is all about managing your brand. When you do something great you want people to know. Maybe you have an entire new range of offerings for your clients,  or you have some super saver deals. Whatever you want people to know, a press release can help.

Anyone who goes on the web and finds links to several press releases under your company name gets the first impression about your brand – he sees constant activity, he knows there is always action, implying your business is progressing.

Is that not the image you always wanted to create? A successful and progressive brand!

When the press release you put up talsk about what is in it for your audience, you automatically generate interest. Your audience sees that you are thinking about them, you are making an effort to get them access to the best things and therefore get attracted towards your business. They now want to know more! They call you, visit you – all because they have read a story about your business that tells them how their lives can change for the better if they associate with you! And they believe in that story. 

All roads lead to you!

When you hyperlink some keywords associated with your business/ product offerings etc. in your press release, and someone searches that keyword on the web – it leads to your press release or your website. This person then gets access to the additional products or services that you offer and once again you are successful in marketing yourself. You should just remember to use the navigation tools in moderation. Overdoing these might just kill your press release.

In most likelihood, a journalist will not look up your press release and then make a decision to create a story about you. It will normally be the other way round – a journalist has decided to create a story, she looks up for information, discovers your press release, visits the link and voila…. She discovers your website, more stories, gets thinking…. She wants your story!!! 

Another point to be noted here is that if you want a specific reporter to cover a story for you and you attach some samples of your press release, the reporter gets impressed – she has all she needs  with a simple click of a mouse! This increases your chances of getting the required coverage.

Press Release Quick Tips

Now comes the bigger point, how to ensure success for your press release. Here are some tips to follow:

Never try to force news

You think you have launched a great new product, you feel that the world should know about it and you try to do a press release around this. Put yourself in the customers’ shoes: Is this something you have been waiting for? Do you actually need to know about this? Would you want to know more about this? If the answer to any of these questions is a ‘no’, chances are that you are not covering a great story. Do not force yourself! Always think about your audience first, they deserve it!

Optimization for the web

You need to ensure that your press release is optimized for the web and when a person performs a keyword search, he does get a link to your release. This is a job well done, your release tells your story and takes this person to your website – he wants your services now! Isn’t that a win-win situation?

Answer the five W’s and one H

Great journalists ensure that they answer the five W’s and one H: who, what, where, why, when and how. You should make sure that your press release also answers all these questions. Sometimes reporters just publish your press release as it is. At other times, they pick up bits and pieces from your release to create their story. It is highly unlikely for them to call you for information. Make sure it is all out there – and you get the perfect marketing, the kind that you so much deserve!

Provide real information and not fiction

Your press release cannot be a work of fiction; it should not be colored or flowery. In fact, it should just be pure facts – easy to grasp and concise! That is what will make an impactful press release and ensure journalists are not throwing it in the garbage! If presented in the correct manner, clear facts can make a compelling read.

The real point here is that press releases can elevate your online presence. Ignore them and you lose an important piece of your marketing puzzle. Use them like spam and you kill your business!

Your press releases should narrate a story; in fact, they should be so much well written that they can be considered a story in themselves! That is perfect media marketing!

Are you ready to write your press release?

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