Does your business have a number of interesting things going on but people don’t seem to hear about them? Would you like to tell people but don’t know how?
Get to grips with the locals…
Do you know the local papers / magazines / radio stations / TV channels? If not research them. Find out who they are, what they are about, where they are based and contact details for reporters / editors / producers. The key is to make sure you have an email address for each contact, as this is the quickest and most effective way to communicate. If you have the time, arrange a meeting with them to give them an overview of who you are, what you do and why they might be interested in hearing from you. If you don’t have time to meet, try sending them an email.
Sniff out the stories…
You’ll be surprised at the stories local press will cover. Even if you do not necessarily think it is newsworthy, they might! If you have a local paper that is published daily, they are always looking for stories to fill spaces, so send them in. Keep your ear to the ground and turn your company news into a press story. Have you recently taken on a new member of staff? Have you recently won a new contract? Have you just sold products to a country that you have never dealt with before? Have the Year 6 class at school just been on a trip to the Zoo? Where possible, take pictures as it is great to include these when you send out your Press Release – they can bring a story to life! The press may also like to come in and take photos so if you have an event / photo opportunity coming up, let them know.
Get down to the writing….
Whatever the context, ensure that you give the Press Release a snappy heading. Then, aim to include ‘who did what’, ‘when and where’, followed by ‘why they did what they did’. It is also important to include a quote from someone involved. This can often act as a nice conclusion to your Press Release. Make sure you also include your name and contact details at the bottom as they may like to get in touch to ask more questions.
Send It and See…
Once you have written your Press Release, send it! Email it out to everybody on your contact list. They may get in contact for more details but if not, it is most probably because your Press Release is comprehensive enough. If you don’t have the funds to employ a Press Cuttings Service, make sure that you buy the publications and check every edition as the Press will not notify you if/when a story is published. If you get coverage, great! Keep it and start to build a ‘Press Coverage’ File. This can then be kept in visitor rooms, receptions, waiting rooms for people to read and learn about all of the wonderful things that happen in your business.
Effective media relations will help you to build a stronger profile locally. Send out as many Press Releases as you physically can as exposure in the local press will make people more aware of who you are and what you do. This is one strategy that can result in increased brand awareness but you don’t have to stop there! Upload your Press Releases onto the news section of your website, tweet the link and share your stories with the world.