Stop the Presses
Just a few years ago, companies dreamed of having news so important that the printing presses would be stopped to add their announcement. While that seldom happened, companies invested a lot of money in press agents and the creation and distribution of press releases. These agents would maintain a carefully cultivated list of media and industry news gatekeepers and pray they could get their attention when mailing out a new release. If a company was lucky, its investment would yield a few lines in some back page notice section of a publication.
While there are still press agents, of course, the business of press releases is transformed by the Internet. They are now an important tool of savvy business people from companies large and small. Your press release can now be digitally distributedto tens of thousands of contacts for a small cost. As importantly, you can archive these releases on your website and other platforms to provide any visitor a running history of your company’s success and progress. Done properly, press releases can have a significant impact on SEO and your online presence. Any company, even locally owned and operated firms, are well served by taking the time to learn how to effectively use press releases and incorporate them into your marketing strategy.
When to Use a Press Release
In today’s marketplace, it’s hard to overdo the use of well-written press releases. There are many reasons and justifications for distributing a press release to the general public and your special list of press release contacts. In each press release you have the opportunity to make a special point about some aspect of your:
- Company. This is the ideal way to let everyone know about any success or new offering from your company. You can announce new products or services, new upgrades or releases, and any awards or special recognition. You also want to make your followers aware of any new major contracts or customers (make sure you clear it with them first.) Any information that highlights a success or step forward is an appropriate subject for a company press release.
- Employees. When you add any significant player to your team or any of your employees achieve something of note, you can show the strength of your internal operations by letting the public in on the news. This includes items such as your IT manager being asked to speak or be on a panel at a major industry conference or trade show. You’ll find these are also good morale builders.
- Industry. If you are part of an industry group that publishes a favorable study or white paper, get the word out to your customers via an informational release. Summarize the information with a few worthwhile data points that will interest others and might cause them to forward or share the information. Anything that points to the significance of your industry can cast a favorable light on your enterprise.
These are just a few of the ideas on what subjects are worthy of a press release. It’s important to remember, however, that in today’s market the very fact that press releases are so easy to distribute means that there is more possibility to get lost in the crowd. Nonetheless, if you take a few easy steps, you can increase the possibility of your press release being picked up by others and generating links, queries, and other positive results. It’s worth noting that if you will at least get value from:
- Added content to your website and social platforms
- A positive reason to contact your customers, vendors, bankers, investors and other key individuals who follow you
- Information your employees can share with their contacts, family and friends.
How to Get the Most out of Your Press Releases
The first step into tapping into the power of a press release is one of gaining the right perspective. Don’t just view your item as a release of news to the press. By its very design, a quality press release is a concise and efficient description of something you view as important and worthwhile. Once the release is completed and fulfills its basic purpose, it’s time to re-purpose it and leverage its potential. Of course, you want to tweet and post links on your website and social accounts. You also wanted printed copies to include in your marketing kits and to post in your employee break room and a special board by any time clock. We’ll revisit the subject of press releases in future posts now that you have some insight into just how useful they are.