Publicity Guide for Small Business Owners
Have you ever wondered how your competitors are featured in news and feature articles in your local newspapers?
Chances are, these companies have employed a public relations practitioner or public relations agency to craft and execute a strategic communications plan for them. Writing and placing a press release takes time, effort, and expertise, and the best course is to let a professional handle this work for you. However, if you would like to try your hand at writing a press release for your small business, here are the basic things you need to know to get started.
Before You Write A Press Release
Ask yourself, if this story was about another company, would it still be interesting to me? Would I want to read this? Determine how this will support your brand image and key message. Think about which benefits you want to promote to your target customers. Decide who will be your media contact. This should be a reliable professional who can talk expertly with the media on the topic of the press release.
Research the media and create a media file of contacts and information. Find out who wants to receive press releases, photographs, topics of interest, and deadlines and verify their contact information. Don’t rely on media directories for this information, as the information is often out-dated. Determine if a mailed press release is needed, or if e-mail contact is preferred. Some reporters prefer that you fill out an online form for calendar and event listings. You can find most of this information on the publication’s web site.
Be sure to put the content of your press release on your company blog. Also post the information (in HTML, not as a .pdf file) on the online newsroom of your company’s web site.