When a company or brand has interesting news to announce or share, it can be a very interesting opportunity to distribute a press release. Thanks to the press release, industry influencers can pick up on a message and help spread it further. As a result, not only the reach of the message expands exponentially, but also its credibility. Based on duomedia’s communication survey in 2015, we see that that B2B professionals rank the reliability and relevance of third party endorsement very high.
The decision to go for a press release may be an easy one, but how do you get started?
Being prepared will save you a lot of time and trouble. If your preparation is not done correctly, you’ll probably end up with a lot of rewriting. Being prepared means you need to ask yourself a couple of questions before you start writing.
Who is the preferred audience for your press release?
Often, your target audience is not one type of person. The audience you would like to reach consists of a diverse range of individuals with different levels of knowledge about your business, different professional interests, and different working relations with your business. I could go on for a long while like this, but you get the picture. Your press release will need to be written in a style that appeals best to your target audience.
Tip: if your message can be appealing to new prospects, don’t forget to introduce yourself. This introduction doesn’t need to be long. A short introduction of ‘what it is you do’ makes your message more relevant to a larger audience.
What do you want readers to take away from the press release?
What is the most important message you would like to share? Your press release will be much stronger if it focusses on a specific topic rather than say 5 different things at once. If you want to communicate several messages to your stakeholders, why not split them over two releases? Your message will come across a lot stronger to your audience.
What does the press release provide?
Are you offering invaluable information, or just another offer? The engagement of the influencers you are trying to reach will be much higher depending on how interesting the bit of news is you’d like to get out there. If possible, try to give your message something juicy.
What is the support or justification for the information in the press release?
Do the facts in your release come from a reliable source? Make sure to double check these facts. Once the press release is distributed, it can be a humbling experience to rectify your message, and it can also harm the reputation of your brand or business. Best not to go lightly over what is being said in your press release. Once sent out, it counts as an official statement of your business.
What is the tone of the press release?
The tone of your press release should be in line with your message. For instance, if you are announcing a new product, be excited about it! Let it show that you are proud. Let it show that your business believes in the new product about to be released.
Tip: Get a quote from the CEO to strengthen the message.
The same goes when adjusting the tone of your press release for a more negative message. In such cases, the tone should be humble and sincere.
Last but not least, what do you want to accomplish with the press release?
Is your intent to increase business? Disseminate information? Both? Whatever it is, make sure not to stray away from the goal of your press release. Your key message needs to pop out. It needs to sticks with your stakeholders. Sometimes, less can be more.
And finally... aim high, but be realistic in your expectations. Most journalists these days are swamped with press releases, so it may take you a few attempts and a bit of chasing to gain press coverage for your business. Don't give up though; determination and a willingness to learn can take you a very long way. Or alternatively, find a great PR partner who will do the job for you!
Louis De Nolf