Creating a Public Relations Campaign for Your Business
Getting media exposure for your business can be very effective in bringing in new customers by spreading the word about what you have to offer. There are two general ways to get favorable coverage in the media: Advertising (buying space to deliver the message you want) and Public Relations (using the press to create content about you by becoming a story).
How to Decide Between the Two
Advertising can be expensive but allows you to control what is printed. Public Relations reduces your control over what is printed but is usually free and can enable your message to be seen as news or helpful information by the reader.
The press (newspapers, magazines, and trade publications) is always looking for newsworthy information they believe readers would find interesting, informative, or valuable. Reporters and writers of these publications must create content to fill space in a timely manner. The key to getting your story published is making your message the content they will use by creating a press release.
Writing a Press Release that Gets Noticed
A press release is a document that contains summary information about a topic or event that you want to share. It is best to distribute the press release to actual people like reporters, writers, and journalists. If you don’t know a specific person at a publication, you can send it to an editor of the publication or direct it to an appropriate department.
Journalists get dozens or even hundreds of press releases each week, so make yours stand out with these suggestions:
- Create a press release that appeals to both the journalist and the ultimate reader.
- Focus on something of value or newsworthy in your release.
- Include enough information to enable the journalist to write a short story.
- Provide detailed contact information so the journalist can reach you for a longer story or additional information.
- Get it to the right readers. If your ultimate audience is the general public, send it to local newspapers and magazines. If your audience is a particular type of business, send the release to all the trade publications that your customers read.
- Direct the release to the specific person who is most likely to be writing about your topic by looking at old copies of trade publications for reporters’ names.
Be Available for Follow Up
Understand that journalists operate under the constant pressure of meeting deadlines. If a journalist calls, try to take the call or return it immediately. You should also ask what type of time constraints the person is under.
Follow The Proper Format
Finally, make sure you present your story in the proper format. Use the template below to layout your own press release.