Do you need to write a press release for your small business?
When people think of press releases, they often envision large communication teams with an editor at the top working on a press release together. But what if you run your business on a much smaller scale? How can you ensure that you are kept informed of developments in your company?
If you’re wondering how to write a press release for your small business, you are not alone. You are not without help either.
The following are the steps for writing a press release for your business, regardless of size.
Read on to find out more!
Via press releases
The first time you write a press release you may wonder when to write one and when to focus on other parts of your marketing campaign.
This is a good question as press releases aid your marketing techniques.
The biggest difference between a press release and an email marketing campaign is in the readership. Your other marketing techniques focus on reaching your target audience, which is the people who are most likely to buy your product or service. However, when you write press releases, you are writing to the press and to people who have an interest in your company.
Hence, you want to change your approach to speaking to these people.
Press releases also focus on different topics than other marketing approaches. As they go into the media, they need to focus on news rather than sales. However, this does not mean that your press release cannot include a call to action. Indeed, many do.
Collect contact information
Before you start writing a press release, you need to define your recipients. This includes collecting people’s contact information in the local press.
Find out which newspapers and television companies serve your region. Then visit their website and check out their contact information. These places often have message desks that you would rather send email related to news. If they don’t have a news desk email, take a look at their employees’ pages.
Many news organizations provide contact information for their editors. If this is the case for you, send your press release to either the editor-in-chief or a senior editor. It is better to send messages to senior editors as they have direct authority to assign it to one of their subordinate reporters.
At this point, you should also think about whether you would like key people to receive your press release as well. These can be board members, investors, or even customers or donors with whom you have a close relationship.
Would you like help spreading your press releases? Check out these services.
Consider using an email management system
Have you set up an email management system?
If not, you should consider getting one. They store your contacts for you and give you templates that you can use to make your press releases look more professional.
This takes the pressure off your formatting of press releases and makes you appear credible.
How to write a press release
So what are the essential things you need to know in order to write a press release? How does your press release look as good for small businesses as it does for those who have entire teams devoted to writing for the press?
Fortunately, no matter the size of your business, you can still use the same techniques that professionals use.
Let’s dive into some of these below.
Set the goal of your press release
When you sit down to write your press release, the first thing you should do is establish your overall goal.
What do you want to achieve with this press release? Would you like to share about a new person you’ve hired or give an important update on your company? Do you have an upcoming event that you need to let everyone know about?
Make sure your purpose is as clearly defined as possible before you start writing. This makes the writing process easier because you can write towards your goal.
Use the message structure
As mentioned above, when you write a press release, the media becomes an important part of your target audience. These people have the option to turn your story into a local (or sometimes even national) message. This gives you the opportunity to get a lot of attention and potentially attract new customers.
Because of this, you need to know the best way to communicate with the press. In the eyes of media professionals, your press release needs to be a story that fits their organization well. This means that you need to learn how to present your story as a message.
Reporters use a certain structure when they write news. You always start with the guidance and continue with the body. Press releases often end with a call to action.
Write a lead
The lead consists of a few sentences in the first paragraph that contain all the relevant information. This includes answering the 5 W and 1 H (who, what, where, when, why and how).
Think of the head start as a brief summary. Ask yourself what someone should know when they only have time to read the first or second line of your press release.
Then write the text that repeats all of the information in the lead, but in more detail.
The important information is always at the top, the less important information at the bottom. Your body can be several paragraphs long. In general, however, you should try to keep your press release short and to the point.
Call to action
Add a call to action at the end.
This is directly related to the purpose of your press release. If you want to get more press coverage, invite reporters to call and interview you. If you want people to give something or make a purchase for a specific reason, add a button or link that they can use to do so.
Would you like more advice on companies and careers?
Learning to write a press release is often an integral part of many business owners’ public relations work.
Fortunately, learning the technique may not be as daunting as it initially seems. When you have a solid list of press contacts, have defined the purpose of your press release, and learn to write according to the structure of the news, you increase your chances of getting your story noticed!
Would you like more business and career advice? Check out the rest of our articles!