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HOW TO WRITE AND SEND OUT PRESS RELEASES

Press releases are a great and inexpensive way to inform the media of what’s going on with your company and get valuable exposure. Around 4,200 press releases are sent worldwide daily. They should be sent to newspapers, magazines, trade publications, radio and television stations and internet-only outlets. Reporters need news stories. Media outlets need content. Press releases provide the bases for these. They announce news items such as events, promotions, awards, new products and services, sales and financial data, accomplishments, expert positioning and staffing additions and changes. Here’s how to do it.

 

Determine your goals? What are you looking to accomplish? What message are you looking to disseminate? Who are looking to reach? How are you going to reach them? What is newsworthy? Newsworthy items include events, promotions, awards, new products and services, sales and financial data, accomplishments, expert positioning and staffing additions and changes.

 

Write the press release. Most public relations professionals follow a standard format that is efficient and increases the odds of getting the desired publicity. Use this format. It generally consists of 4 to 5 paragraphs with 400 to 500 words. The common structural elements include an attention grabbing headline that briefly summarizes the news. The dateline contains the release date and originating city. The introduction or first paragraph usually answers the questions who, what, when, where and why. The body provides further explanation, statistics, background, direct quotes and other details. The boilerplate is generally a short “about” section providing an independent background on the issuing company, organization or individual. Typical symbols to signify the close of the press release include “-30-“, “###” and “ends”. The media contact information includes the contact name, phone number, email and mailing addresses, fax number and any other contact info. Don’t sell! Use appropriate keywords in the headline and body to enhance SEO. Use plain language. Keep it on one page. You could also create video or audio news releases to be used by media outlets. They’re usually short video or audio segments.

 

Determine who you’re sending the press releases to. Are you looking for local, regional, national or international exposure? Search for newspapers, magazines, trade publications, radio and television stations and internet-only outlets in the appropriate areas and the appropriate contacts there.  Appropriate contacts include publishers, editors, assignment editors, journalists, columnists, editorialists, anchors and show producers and hosts. Compile a list of targeted media outlets with the appropriate contacts and their contact info. Newswires such as PR Newswire, AP, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg and others disseminate news to journalists. Free and paid distribution services send out press releases to their media outlet lists. Publicity firms send out press releases to newswires and their media outlet lists.

Send out the press releases. They’re usually sent via email, mail or fax. Send them out to your media contact list, newswires and free and paid distribution services. Use the appropriate timing to make deadlines and ensure the timeliness of the news. Follow-up with phone calls to make sure they were received. You could also hire a publicity agency that will write and send out press releases.

 

Evaluate the results. How many press releases did you send out? How many media outlets used them? Develop relationships with media outlets that used them. Investigate why media outlets didn’t use them and if there is anything you can do to change that. Determine the ROI. How much time and money did you invest in sending out the press releases? What was the value of the exposure you received and the revenue you generated that you can track and attribute to the press releases? Focus on the outlets that provided the best ROI.

 

Now you know the best ways to write and send out press releases. Are you doing that? Why not? Press releases are one of the affordable and best ways to promote your business. I look forward to seeing your company in the media. And look for KFNX in the media too. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

 





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