In today’s fast paced and digital environment, brands are constantly competing to get their name in front of potential customers.

Most people aren’t sitting around at the breakfast table reading the old “Grey Lady” or “tomorrow’s fish and chip wrapper” these days.

No, rather they are thumbing through Twitter, hopping on social media, checking their local news site (not just for school closures anymore 😉) for updates.

A company’s digital presence is more important now that ever! We all know how important a company’s reputation and sharing exciting company news is another way to ensure the message is getting out there. A press release, when done correctly can act as an informative and authoritative resource for any company’s marketing.

What is a Press Release?

Press Release is the just one of the many terms used for a public corporate announcement. Also known as a press statement, media statement, media release, news statement, and so on.

Press releases can be crafted for several reasons, but one thing they all have in common is the MUST cover the basics.

If you think back to grade school, you probably had an English or Language Arts teacher tell you… “Your paper must contain the 5 Ws: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.”

A press release is the corporate version of that. A short, one page statement that gets right to the heart of the matter. Keeping in mind, the Internet is forever and press releases live in the public domain, so every aspect of the statement should be carefully crafted, reviewed, and edited before publication. Not only for accuracy of messaging but for grammar, etc.

The Press Release can be a VERY powerful marketing tool when used wisely and in conjunction with other marketing efforts.

Press Release Types:

While there is no “silver bullet” or “100% cookie cutter template” to craft a press release, there are best practices and ideal topics that will help craft a powerful and meaningful release.

 There are also definitely topics and pitfalls to stay away from when crafting your release to ensure the widest distribution possible. 

Let’s take a look at some things that would harm your distribution or cause your release to be rejected out of hand:

Now let’s take a look at some GOOD reasons to issue a press release:

If we take a look at these release types you’ll see a similarity trend.

When an Award is won; it’s ok for a company to “toot its own horn” so to speak. Press release about accomplishments and awards establish an authority in your market that may not be otherwise recognized.

Whether it is an individual within the company or the company as a whole, the details about how the award was achieved, when it was awarded, what the award itself stands for, as well as any other pertinent details should be included.

In the case of a new business partnership, acquisition, or merger, you would want to include the parties involved, share with the stakeholders how it will have a positive impact on the future of the company(s) and inform the reader of the positive growth. When possible, quotes from the involved parties should be included.

When announcing Executive Team changes, whether it be a promotion or new hire, it is important to remember that this person is being put out there as a “face” of the company. Releases generally include biographical information about their credentials to establish their credibility along with a photo and other pertinent details. When possible, quotes from other leaders in the company should be included to lend weight and credence to the announcement.

Grand Openings are a great way to garner the spotlight. Everyone loves a party and new success, and a grand opening represents both!

It could be a brand new company opening for the first time, a new office location being established, office relocation or a reopening after a seasonal or extended close, a release is a fantastic way to build upon that excitement.

When possible, the release should be done in advance of the opening and include the date of the opening, the locations where it will be held, how it is being celebrated, and who will be involved.  In the case of a new location, a brief statement about the other locations can be included. In the case of an office relocation, generally an explanation for the move should be included.

When hosting an Event, a press release can be a very powerful component to getting the buzz going that may otherwise not be generated. Depending on the event type, additional media coverage may be garnered as local news is always on the lookout for events to cover.  It makes a fantastic foot in the door talking point.

 When crafting your release it is important to remember to include:

Product Launches and New Service Announcements, similar to an Event, a press release will generate buzz and industry attention about your company, solutions and afford the opportunity to set the company apart from its competitors.

Focus should be placed on what the product/service is, how it is a solution to a problem, availability, pricing, and other pertinent details that may be valuable to the potential customer. 

Rebranding can be a beast! Anyone that has gone through it can attest to the confusion that comes from internal staff, existing customers, and potential customers.  One way to help bridge the awkward gap is announcing the rebrand with a press release. This will allow all of the details on what is changing, why it’s changing, when the changes go live, and what to expect all to be addressed proactively and in one place. And, should people have questions once the change has happened, it can be a great resource to point back to.

It is also a GREAT way to get your new brand out there and associated with the existing brand thus creating additional opportunities. When possible, quotes from the Executive/ Leadership team should be included.

Set Yourself Apart From The Rest

A press release can be a very powerful and useful tool in the marketing toolbox to set a company apart from its competitors. With media evolving at the rate and style that it currently is, it’s important to focus on traditional releases while mixing it up a bit.

Think of a press release in the same way you would think of your email campaigns, marketing funnels, etc. What worked in 2019, while it may work, you’ve probably given it a bit of a makeover. Don’t become trapped in what a “traditional” press release is, think about how you can utilize this medium to help yourself and your customers garner not just industry interests but other media and social interests.  

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