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Small Business BuzzHow to Issue a Press Release
A doubleshot of business news espresso with extra froth
A press release is a relatively inexpensive way (typically free, or close to it, depending on what you do with it) to get the word out about your business. But it is a process that many small business owners are not familiar with.
First, find a newsworthy angle for your press release that, in a round-about way, is related to the product/services you provide. If you’re having a hard time coming up with a topic, check your company’s online forum posts (or set one up if you don’t have one), which will typically lend some good ideas.
Your topic needs to be something that the public would be interested in reading about irrespective of your business’ involvement. Editors and reports are not at all interested in helping your business obtain new clients and increase sales, so don’t try and sell anything. They are simply interested in providing news to the public. If your press release doesn’t provide a newsworthy angle, they won’t release it – end of story.
How do you write a press release? First, it needs to be in the third person (avoid “I” or “we”), in an journalistic and unbiased style. Before starting, familiarize yourself with quality journalistic writing from papers such as the New York Times or Washington Post, as well as the style of your local papers. When you’re ready to get started, there are five key elements to keep in mind (for a format example, please refer to Publicity Insider):
There also needs to be, at some point in the body of your story, a short paragraph about your company (when established, what it does, why involved in this story, etc). Keep it short – no more than two or three sentences. More than that seems like a sales pitch.
Indicate the end of your press release with “###,” centered.
There will be many times when you send out press releases to all local newspapers and radio stations and no one picks up your story. Don’t get discouraged. There are other ways to get the word out. So, in addition to sending a press release to the news media, you should also do the following:
• ALWAYS publish your press release on your website.
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By Michelle Cramer
Friday, May 3rd, 2013 @ 12:00 AM CDT
Marketing, Networking |
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