All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions
We all like to think our company's events and achievements are big news. Unfortunately, you compete for media space against wars, crime, scandal and Richard Branson's billions. Don't despair: there are ways to get your press releases printed.
- Make a list of media contacts to whom you can send press releases on a regular basis. Send releases directly to the publications' editors.
- Media is not only newspapers. Submit your releases to websites and e-newsletters as well.
- Customise your releases for the specific media you have in mind. For example, a national newspaper won't look twice at a story about the golf day you sponsored, but your town's community newspaper might put it on the front page.
- Concentrate on the most appropriate publications for your product or service.
- Ask the publishers for a media kit and/or features list, which contains the themes and closing dates of each issue. Use this to plan what you want to distribute and when.
- Present something newsworthy about your business or industry in one or two pages. Include the who, what, where, why and when of the story. The most common criticism of press releases is that they "sound like promotion". Develop a news angle and be objective.
- Keep the article short - but include a "boilerplate", ie, a summary of your company and contact details.
- Write an eye-catching headline.
- Include good, high-quality photographs when possible and appropriate.
- Aim to get your press release into special holiday or anniversary issues of publications. These usually have wider distribution.
- Piggyback your release onto a major news story related to your industry.
- Be consistent and persistent. Get into the habit of sending out a new press release monthly, or every second month.