Is Your Press Release Strategy Effective?
Let me know if the following situation sounds familiar: You pen a press release, send it to a lengthy list of writers and journalists, and wait to see if anyone nibbles on the bait. No one does, and your press release fails to deliver important information to possible consumers.
Unfortunately, this occurs to too many public relations professionals.
Don’t get me wrong. Press releases are an old, solid custom in the Public Relations field, and they have their uses even despite the rapidly changing times. We write press releases to catch the attention of journalists, magazine editors, feature writers and other prominent content creators; to provide them with all of the information they need in one easy document; and to convince them to write about the product we’re selling or representing. This way, we generate buzz and, hopefully, drive to a specific goal like a rise in sales. But the sad news is that press releases can turn into a big waste of time if you’re not using this correctly.
That’s why I advocate for a better way.
Sending out press releases—the effective way
First, you need to find publications that make sense for your product or service.
If you manufacture cutting-edge construction tools, for example, you won’t want to send your press release to a cooking magazine. It’s important to get your information in front of writers who are likely to be interested—with the goal to get your information in front of readers who are likely to become consumers. So throw out that long list of media contacts and create a smaller, more targeted one. That’s less work for you, but with a higher chance of success.
Once you find the right publications, it’s important to establish personal relationships with key writers within those organizations. Read articles by staff writers to find who would be most interested in your information. Then try to build an authentic relationship with those writers. Give them a call or an email to introduce yourself. If they have a local office, perhaps you can even meet in person (although be sure not to appear pushy).
With such a cluttered media space and reams of information being pumped through the wires at all times, you must find a way to differentiate yourself from the pack. If you rise above the din by putting a face to your email address, you can establish yourself as a trusted source for newsworthy information.
This, of course, means your press release should also contain newsworthy information. Media outlets are rarely interested in releases that offer no noteworthy or timely content. Write about an event coming up, or about a new product line that’s just about to launch. Find an angle that convinces writers your information is useful and, therefore, publishable.
If you don’t have an event coming up, create one. You can generate your own buzz by putting together happenings designed specifically for press coverage.
A holistic approach to public relations
So now you know better strategies for sending our press releases. But if you’re not combining press releases into a larger public relations strategy, you’re not leveraging your time effectively. That’s the sad truth.
To change that, you should first bring your press release to your social media and web presence. Repackage your content for each of these media channels to get the information in front of eyes that are already focused on you. If you generate enough buzz via social media (possibly even reaching the golden “Trending” label), you can actually make your press release more newsworthy as a result. These days, social media and news are intricately connected, and things like interest and shareability matter.
You can also rework your press release into a targeted email messaging campaign that reaches people who have already expressed interest in your product. The point is to achieve full saturation of the information through your various media outlets to get the most mileage out of your release.
Of course, it’s a good idea to also use a reputable wire for distribution, like PR Newswire, though those services can be expensive and should be used thoughtfully—and following all of the rules in the section above.
Through following these best practices and holistic strategies, you should see a rise in the success of your press release. Do you have any questions about public relations or marketing strategies? Be sure to contact me through Chatter Buzz Media, or leave a comment!
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