Every business wants its customers and target markets to know what they’re doing. Some businesses are effective at communicating and sharing news, while others struggle to share.
Press releases are one of the most effective public relations (PR) tools to communicate and share important news. Many people know this, but don’t necessarily understand when, why or how to write and issue a press release. It’s a common problem that I get asked about a lot. There’s no shame in not knowing all the details about how or when to issue a press release.
From a PR perspective I recommend five basic points to consider when trying determining if a news item is worthy of a press release. I’ve listed these five points below.
- Be consistent: I recommend to my clients that they plan on issuing press release on a regular basis. Usually once a month is sufficient. That doesn’t mean that you have to issue a press release on the first day of each month, but if you’re consistent with sharing your news you’ll build a solid electronic footprint of news. I see so many companies that will issue a series of press releases in rapid succession and then go months without making any announcements. The logical question in these instances, especially from a media perspective is, “what happened to this company since they last issued this flurry of press releases?”
- Create a schedule: I recommend clients create a schedule of upcoming news and events that they can refer to and follow for writing and issuing press releases. You may not use every topic but it’s helpful to have a calendar to know what’s in the pipeline. In some cases you may combine some of these news items or replace them with more breaking news topics, but a calendar will help you plan accordingly.
- There is such a thing as too much: Some companies will issue too many press releases. In my experience the companies that do this are simply trying to increase their stock price or attract potential investors. Not every occurrence is worthy of a press release. Similarly, fluff news isn’t news and, from a media perspective, will not garner the attention and respect of the media. If you’re constantly issuing press releases for non-newsworthy things it waters down your message and when there is legitimate news the press is less likely to listen. In some cases, if there is information you want to share, but are unsure if you should issue a press release to make the announcement, consider a blog entry or social media post to share the information.
- Communicate the news: This may sound simple, but I’ve seen businesses try to announce legitimate news only to leave out relevant details. In one example, a company announced an event but failed to list the date of the event. If you’re going to share your news through a press release make sure to include all relevant information. Re-issuing a press release is possible, but it’s also costly. In my opinion, you only get one chance to make a good impression, and including all pertinent details is critical.
- Make the news accessible: If you go to the trouble of writing a press release, you need to share it. Don’t just share some of the news or share it with a privileged few. Make it available to everybody. The best way to do this is via a wire service such as Business Wire, PR Newswire or PRWeb. There are other resources, but a wire service will get the word out quickly and reliably. Social media is another venue, as is your company’s Website, but the wire will share the information with the largest group of people the quickest.
Press releases are an effective tool for sharing important news and making sure the audiences you target know what your business is doing. There is a strategy to press releases that will maximize your exposure and create the most awareness. If you follow the tips listed above you’ll increase the effectiveness of your press releases and benefit from the exposure a press release generates.