Press releases help drive brand identity

I have business owners and managers ask me all the time about getting someone from the media to cover their business event. The event might include a grand opening, ribbon cutting, anniversary party, expansion, etc. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew who that ‘someone’ was when you were ready to contact or invite them?

One way to start building your media list/media relationships is to Google: “media outlets in _____ (your city).” Find out who writes about your industry. Keep in mind that journalists are inundated with press releases, many from out of the area and not relevant to our local community. If you send a well-written press release that is relevant to the industry and area they cover, they will take notice and appreciate it. Even if they can’t cover your news this time, they are more likely to work with you in the future because you’ve established that credibility.

Press releases also allow you to drive the narrative around your brand. This means that you are educating the media and readers about your brand and they are not relying on other sources that may not be true.

Tips for writing a good release

Make sure it’s newsworthy. Your press release needs to provide the who, what, where, when and why your news matters. Make sure it’s clear and concise and double-check your punctuation and spelling. 

Include multimedia. 99.9% of the time, I include a photo or video with all press releases. Make sure the image is high quality — especially for print media outlets –and the visuals and sound are clear in your video.

Repurpose your press release. If you don’t already have a tab on your website for Media, News or a Blog, add one. Then add your press release to it. This not only creates relevant content for your website (which Google loves), a well-written press release allows search engines to find, match, index and rank your press release. Next, take the link to the press release from your website and share it on your social media. This is twofold – you are keeping your social media active and driving traffic to your website.

Follow up. Emails get missed. I have 50K in my inbox right now! I strongly recommend sending a quick follow-up email or reminder, especially if you have an upcoming event.

The bottom line is journalists appreciate your help. They are busy just like everyone else and they can’t be everywhere all the time. You are making their job easier.