The Power Of The Press Release

In business everyone, and when I say everyone, I mean owners and managers, are looking for great ways to get the word across about their products and services. Not only get the word out, but do it for as little cost as possible.

These days a first class stamp costs less than a half dollar. Imagine reaching thousands of potential customers for as little as a couple of quarters. Throw in the fact that now email is free and it won`t even cost you that much, just some of your time.

That is the power, that is a press release. A press release is an informational story that you write on your company, your products, services etc., that your local newspaper, or even major media outlets give to their readers and viewers as a reputable source of information.

They work in this fashion. You write a press release about your company`s new offering of widgets. In there you talk about how great they are, how much they can help the general public and so on. You then mail or email it to the editor of your local newspaper and behold it gets published right? Wrong!

First things first. Lets talk about the proper design of a press release, then we`ll talk about how to get it published.

A good press release, and one that is most likely to get published is about 500 words, 1.5 to double spaced to make reading easier, and of course in a news format. What is news format? Read any article in today`s paper, that is news format. Editors, especially newspaper editors are craving news on a daily basis. If your press release is written in a news format, where it sounds like news and your are educating their readers, then chances are they will use it. They, the editors, are looking for news, and here you are, being a nice person, and giving it to them for free, well basically free.

Once you have your press release written, the next step is to find out where to send it. It makes no sense to even write the release if you send it to the wrong people. For instance, if you sell steak or some type of meat product, would it make any sense to send it to the editor of a vegetarian magazine? Of course not.

If you are writing a press release that is geared towards sports, then send the press release to the sports editor. Also don`t try and fool any editors with a slick way of saying, “well if you run my release, maybe I will buy ad space later.” Editors are very intelligent people, and by doing that, you are insulting them. They will read right through it and toss your press release in the trash.

Just send them the press release, and if it is well written and something that would be informational to their readers, they will print it.

A friend of mine was the president of a local youth baseball league. While other local leagues were spending lots of money on ad space, he was sending them press releases about the league, accomplishments of the kids and so on. I don`t think a week went by where they weren`t in the local newspaper at least once. The league he ran grew from 4 teams to 8 teams in just a couple of seasons, and was able to do it with a lot of free press.

Once you find out who it should go to, then send it to them in the format they desire. Not all editors enjoy getting press releases via email. Many like getting it in a written format. You will need to contact where it is you are sending it and find out what they prefer.

I suggest you start locally with your hometown newspapers. See what kind of response you get. You may have to tweak it a bit to make it exactly what they are looking for. Do not get discouraged if you send it out on Monday and it is not in Tuesday`s papers. Sometimes it takes a few days for the editor to print it.

Also do not call the editor everyday to find out what happened. If you want to do a follow up call to make sure they received it, that is fine, but remember the editors are busy trying to print news and really do not have the time to talk to you on the phone 8 times a week.

That is the power of good press releases. Written in the correct format, sent to the right person, you can reach thousands of people on a weekly and monthly basis for virtually nothing.

By: Bruce A. Tucker