In business, there are things you need to do to be successful. One is to produce the best products and provide the best service possible. Another is to have pricing that is competitive within your market. Skilled, dedicated employees are also vital and you want to be sure they are well-compensated and motivated. Having a solid plan for now and for the future is also essential.
One of the most important aspects of successful business practices is marketing and advertising. No matter how good you are, if no one knows about you, your success will be limited. Press releases are one of the best tools to announce updates about your company or those it serves. They allow you to consistently get the word out about your company’s new products and services. Press releases are also valuable to convey news for and about your clients.
2 Keys Learned From the First Press Release
In 1906, the first press release was written by a journalist named Ivy Lee on behalf of the Pennsylvania Railroad concerning a train accident. It ran in the New York Times and had two essential elements every press release should have. It included detailed and impartial facts and it told the story in a timely, compelling manner. This should be remembered whether you use a press release distribution service or send them out on your own.
Concise Captivating Headline
Your headline is the first aspect that captures people’s attention. It needs to be clear, concise, and compelling. It should communicate what the story is about and make the viewer want to read it.
Include the Date and Location
A good press release will have the date of the event or when the release was written and the location of the event or your company. This will make the relevance of the story clear.
The Five Ws
Good journalists know the importance of the five Ws.
- What happened in the story?
- Who was involved?
- Where did it happen?
- When did it happen?
- Why is it significant?
Answer these questions clearly but concisely early in the release. This is the essential information that readers want to know.
Communicate Honestly and Without Bias
Naturally, you want to hype your business. After all, that is the purpose of marketing However, be mindful not to make statements that are exaggerated or untrue and use a neutral position and tone. Straight-ahead facts are always your best bet.
Color the Release With Relevant Quotes
Quotes from business owners, executives, or employees that are relevant to the topic can add color, especially if they are clever or humorous. Make sure to accurately copy the quote and cite it properly to the speaker.
Avoid Specialized Jargon
Terminology that is used in your field is naturally on the tip of your tongue but don’t use it in press releases. The average person reading the release will most likely not be familiar with it and it will confuse them. Ask someone outside your field to proofread the release.
Add Context in a Simple Manner
As the story builds, add pertinent details in descending order of importance. Keep it simple and easy to read. Long lists of dates and events are to be avoided as they will cause most people to stop reading. You want them to be able to easily digest the important information.
Use the Right Sign Off
There are several ways to sign off and indicate to the publisher that the release has concluded. These include -30-, XXX, and ###. Find out which one is appropriate for your area and use it. This avoids confusion.
At the end of the release, add contact information. This should include the name or names of people to contact, email addresses, phone numbers, or physical addresses as needed.
A boilerplate is a section at the bottom of the press release that briefly summarizes your business with a short biography. It leaves the reader with a solid idea of who you are and what you do. It may entice them to follow up by checking out your website.
Advertising and marketing are essential to a successful business. There are many tools that can be used. Regular press releases, when well-written, communicate to your target audience what your company is currently up to. Keep them in the loop and build your clientele.