Generating positive press coverage should be a goal for any business. Publicity is an effective marketing and promotional tool that creates awareness and drives sales. Three key benefits of good public relations are:
- It's generally less expensive than advertising.
- Since it usually comes from a third party, it's credible.
- It can greatly enhance your company's reputation or rein in the damaging effects of bad news.
Put your news quickly, easily and affordably on the WebServeral Web-based press release services will post your release online and distribute it worldwide to major news agencies.
Create a database of media contactsYour potential press coverage is only as good as your contact list. Research the appropriate media outlets for your message and build relationships with key journalists and reporters.
Develop aYou'll need an angle to attract publicity. Determine what is new or special about your business and use it as your selling point. Your release should include a substantially new development, a conflict or a human-interest item. "Dog bites boy" is mundane. "Boy bites dog" is a hook.
Send out news releasesKeep your press releases short, newsworthy, timely and professional. Include the appropriate contact info and the date (editors often discard releases that say "For immediate release" but don't list the date). Make it easy for reporters to find you.
Write articles for newspapers and trade magazinesContribute columns and "how-to" features that help position you as an expert in your field.
Get speaking gigsParticipate on trade-show panels, speak to community groups and "circulate" to increase awareness of your company.
Hire a PR firm or consultantIf your public-relations objectives go beyond what you can do yourself, consider bringing in a professional PR agency or an independent contractor. In addition to writing press releases, PR professionals can assist with everything from speechwriting to getting you speaking engagements, talk-show appearances, and radio, TV and print interviews.
- When you send a press release, make sure it's newsworthy!
- Consider your target audience. Think like an editor or a TV news director.
- Stand out from the crowd by sending something different and creative with your release — but make sure that whatever you send is relevant.
- Create a "halo effect" by tying into local charities and community events.
- Maximize the Internet. Send e-newsletters, e-zines or start your own "expert" blog.
- Follow up with the media after you've sent your release. Be persistent without being a pest.