Small Business Marketing with a Press Release
Writing a press release for marketing your business or website is an excellent way to attract more prospects and customers. Businesses write press releases to announce a new product or service, make major announcements about their firm, or highlight innovative practices of their business. If the story is written well enough, or the event is newsworthy, the release has a chance to be picked up by dozens of other publications and websites. For small business owners a press release can be an avenue for inexpensive, yet effective marketing tactic.
*** Writing Your Press Release
When writing a press release for your small business there are a few things you should keep in mind. First and foremost, make sure that you write a great headline. The headline should grab the readers' attention and make them want to learn more about your story.
In the first paragraph of your press release put the most important information about the news you will be sharing. This is helpful for journalists who are scanning for possible stories to include in their publications. And it's also a great way to draw the readers into your story and make them want to read the entire press release.
Keep in mind that the main goal of a press release is to provide useful information about your business, products, services, or industry to the reader. Your release should not sound like a sales letter; it should instead be informative and interesting.
A press release should contain details such as who, what, where, why and how. It can contain a news item or announce an acquisition or even discuss a change in the hierarchy of your business as long as it's written in an interesting fashion. It should contain information in a straight up, third person style.
*** Wrapping Up Your Press Release
At the end of your press release you should present brief information about the history of your company and/or the product or idea you are presenting. Also be sure to include how journalists and readers can find out more information about your company via either your website, business address, phone number or all of the above.
After you have written your press release make sure you proof read it to see if it contains any errors. Even if you will only be using free online distribution sites, you want your releases to come across as professional as possible so avoiding spelling and grammar mistakes is a necessity.
*** Distributing Your Press Release
Once your press release is written and proof read, your next step is to distribute it. Online there are dozen of websites which will take a free release and distribute amongst many different websites for you. You can also find sites that you can pay to distribute your press release.
The choice of distribution method relies mostly on the goals of your press release and your budget. If you are working with a small marketing budget, and if the goal of your release is simply to build incoming links to your website, I advise going with the free route. Here's a list of the top 5 free press distribution sites to get you started.
If, however, you truly want your story picked up by newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and other news outlets, your best bet is to invest in a professional distribution service. These services can run anywhere from $200 and up, and there is no guarantee that your story will ever get published, so if you're working with a small business marketing budget, you might want to reserve this option for when you have an extremely amazing, newsworthy story. There's not much chance that Newsweek magazine will publish a story about Joe Smith's new website, so save your marketing dollars for something amazing.
You can also distribute your press release on your own. Simply choose a few outlets to target, find out the best person to send your release to, print out a copy of your press release on good quality paper and mail it to the proper contacts at each publication.
Small business marketing with press releases is relatively inexpensive and the barrier to entry is low. All you need is a story and a keyboard, so consider adding this tactic to your marketing plan today.