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Promoting Your Business With Press Releases…Continued

It’s not always about the hitting the home run. The primary purpose of a press release is to make an announcement: New products or services, participation in local events, sponsorships, new hires and promotions, or new office opening and manufacturing expansion.

Press releases help position a company with the media, particularly if you want to be recognized as having a particular expertise, you want to be recognized for having achieved a certain level of success, or you believe that you have certain information that will be useful to others, while also benefiting you with more business.

Let’s talk about the homerun. What was the difference between the releases that were trashed and those that became stories?

A Good Angle

What’s a good angle?

It is something that is different, helpful and has appeal to a borad or specific market.

FEATURE: A 11-employee, five-van air conditioning company is celebrating its 10-year anniversary that it has built as a virtual, home-office company.

INFORMATION: In the slowly rebuilding economy, a business attorney has advise for start-up and existing businesses for avoiding the 10 typical mistakes that business owners can avoid when signing a commercial lease.

DIFFERENT: A real estate agent happens to talk to a janitor taking a cigarette break in parking garage and discovers that the company he works for is planning to move. She talks to the company president, and then finds the space they need and ends up with a $10,000 commission.

Good angles.

Press releases answer the basic questions: Who, what, when, where, why and how. Then go a step farther and explain what it means. That is the angle.

Writing a Press Release

Lead first paragraph: Capture attention.

Ex: There are 10 mistakes that business owners can avoid when signing a lease for new space.

Body: More detail and cite examples.

Source: An expert in area – 10 years, 15 years, since 1993… with the following credentials.

Summary closing: What it means

Contact information: Name, phone, address, website.

Amount of Information

Keep is short (one-page double spaced to three pages at the most) in 12 pt. type. The release must have an angle, deal with facts and be timely. Don’t use jargon.

Distribution

You can do it yourself – PRWeb.com, which cost $80-360 per release for distribution to various online and traditional media outlets; or put it on your stationary and send it directly to a publication.

Which Publication?

There are many publications specific to an industry or that have broad readership by consumers and business owners. There are 6,500 magazines published in the US. Many are niche publications read by people with specific interests.

Most small business seek local or regional clients and should pursue publicaiton in local publications. In South Florida, some of the publications include: Florida Community Journal, South Florida Business Journal, Florida Trend, The Sun-Sentinel, the Sun-Sentinel’s 32 niche community publications in South Florida, The Miami Herald, The South Florida Sun, and DRW magazine.

Write a press release and post it on your website for the search engines to find. Doing so on a regular basis will optimize your website and increase its ranking with search engines.

Getting THE Call

If you are called by a reporter interested in following up on your release, remember that they are time constrained and usually on a deadline. Be precise, polite, and friendly. Don’t ask to read the story before it goes into print. It won’t happen. Don’t expect to be the only person in the story. In fact, you’ll likely only get a paragraph or a sentence if it’s part of a trend story.

Is It Worth The Effort?

It can be. Readers may respond by picking up the phone and calling. Sometimes it’s gratifying to see one’s name and business in print. And there may be an uptick in business from it. New hire announcements help build morale. Relocation announcements help customers to find you. Seminar announcements help build credibility. And, posting the releases on your website can make for interesting reading, as well as improve your company's searchability on the Internet.

The book The 29% Solution recommends sending out a release every 90 days. I agree. But, not necessarily because it will to get you publicity. The process of formulating a release also helps a business focus on what they are doing that is important and noteworthy. It helps you refine the personal commercial that you make to your customers and clients.

- David Oakes

NewspaperBoy