How to Tap Into Press Release Marketing for SMBs
Press release marketing is, quite simply, a way to create publicity and traffic for your small business, just as a monthly printed postcard or newsletter does. These short news articles provide the public with information about your company while, at the same time, help to brand your business name. In addition to branding, frequent press releases will gain your small business credibility in the public scene.
Keep in mind, though, that you have to be especially careful when using press releases for business purposes. Besides those who might read the publication (the readers) you need to also develop trust with the editors who choose which articles to publish. With the wrong press release, you can hurt your reputation and make it much harder to convince editors to publish your releases in the future. So, consider these points before you take advantage of this powerful marketing strategy.
The Right Information
You don’t necessarily need some big news story to start producing good press releases. Learn the art of spinning small, seemingly insignificant stories into fun, interesting ideas. Topics to consider are upcoming sales, community involvement, an exposé on a unique or new product, recent awards, or results of recent survey.
Make sure to include details that will endear you to the public, like focusing on the culture of your business or how you’re working on something new due to public suggestion or need. A press release is not the time to “advertise” your company; write company news. When you’re writing, use small words and terms that anyone can understand.
This is not to say they should be dull, however. Your word choices should sparkle with personality but be common enough that anyone not familiar with your industry can understand your message. You should also consider incorporating your keywords into your press release to keep it in front of your audience’s eyes.
EDIT EDIT EDIT. When you finish writing your press release, edit it. Edit it more than once and have it edited by more than one person. People notice when press releases contain errors, and it puts your company in a bad light when basic spelling and grammar mistakes are present.
Then, format your press release appropriately. It must fit double-spaced onto one page. At the end, add ###. This informs editors that they have come to the end of the press release. In the upper left-hand corner, include either the words “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” or “HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL . . .”
Just following the title of your press release, include the city and state of your small business. This helps the readers familiarize themselves for what is to follow. At the end, include contact information for your small business. Here’s a sample:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Your Title Should Be Exciting
City, State – January 1, 2012 – Start off your article with a very short synopsis of the story with a who, what, where, when, why format.
Then, go into more detail after you have their attention. You can go into great detail if you’d like, but don’t be surprised if the final story is much shorter.
Add a relevant quote from a key member of the story to really give your press release value.
Don’t be afraid to add your website in the body of the text, as this is a great way to get people to check out your site. Remember that this should be a neutral point of view. Don’t go over the top with patting yourself on the back. Your contact information is below and they’re going to know you wrote this about yourself. Even if the readers don’t know, the editors will. Instead of a contact section, you could instead write up an “About [Your Company Name]” paragraph that includes information about your business along with contact information in a single paragraph.
Your Name or Company Rep
City, State Zip
About [Company Name]:
Founded in May of 0000, this company became an industry leader from the very beginning . . . .
Send It Out
Once you’ve written up something interesting and given it a sassy, attention-grabbing heading, the next step is to find local editors and send your press release out to them. The editors you should consider finding are magazines and newspapers in your regional area that pertain to your particular field of business or interest, newspapers of your local area, and any smaller, more local websites that would render more traffic to your small business.
If you have an online business market, feel free to also send your press release out any website, regardless of distance, that pertains to your field of interest.
You can also publish press releases on websites that permit anyone to submit their releases. There are free and paid versions available, based upon the amount of circulation you hope to achieve.
Press release marketing can be an incredibly powerful tool. As you can see from above, the format isn’t too difficult, nor is submitting the release to editors. The most important part of the process is choosing your stories well and writing releases that editors want their readers to see.
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