There’s a lot of ideas out there about why you need to write and distribute press releases. Most of them not entirely right – or just dead wrong.
Press releases, while they may have been around for a century now, they are still as fresh as ever. Just like other modern PR tools, they live on the Internet and they can make an immense impact – when they’re done right.
COVID-19, for all the economic chaos that it has wrought, did teach us to value the resources we have at hand, including that ever dependable press release. After all it’s proven its worth over the decades and still the go-to tool in times of crisis.
While that’s true, press releases are so useful beyond being a means to begin PR repairs. In fact, it’s more often utilized not as the means to mend mistakes, but an effective means to communicate the good things your business is doing – how you’re innovating in your industry, helping solve problems, and so on.
While press releases can help position your company as a leader and influencer within the media outlets, it’s the message itself that’s going to make the difference.
According to the Bulldog Reporter’s book Breakthrough Press Releases for the Digital Age, “Despite the popularity of social media, blogs, tweets and videos, written press releases remain the most powerful form of business communication.” This is because news releases target the people who any business wishes to connect. In fact JoTo PR’s press releases are seen by thousands of journalists across more than 20 categories and fields, which in turn accounts to an audience measured in the millions… tens of millions of targets.
So, if anyone can write one, then why are so few picked up by journalists and the majority sent to the delete bin?
#Truth: 1 in 1000 get looked at. And even those don’t make it past the first paragraph before they are deleted.
It’s in part because most companies use press releases as bragging rights and fluff pieces rather than NEWS pieces—and more importantly, they are treated as one-offs and quick fixes… they aren’t part of a larger communications plan.
In past newsletters, I’ve been discussing the need to plan your communications, the preparation of which begins with Market Research. Any communication that is part of your plan will be based the specific intelligence that gets into the knowledge and attitudes of your audiences. That information forms the bedrock of your Strategic Communications Plan.
Your press releases are a component of that plan. They’re not fluff pieces or stories about how you deserve you give yourself a pat on the back. No, press releases are hard news – Information the press can use.
That means you’ll have to ask yourself some questions that specify goals you want your press releases to help accomplish for you.
- Who do I want to read this news release?
- Is my mission/goal/objective clearly represented in the message contained in the news release?
- Can people easily understand what my company is all about and wants to accomplish?
- Will this news release generate conversation, leads and gravitate business my way?
Those are just a few to get you started. I’m sure you have plenty more of your own, so have those answered as you formulate your communications plan of attack.
And now that you have your goals, what about the press release itself. I mean, you may have read your share, but have you actually sat down and written one?
It looks simple, sure. But writing an effective press release is like driving. Lots of people can drive a car. But most car drivers don’t qualify for NASCAR. Press releases are a specialized type of writing, the craft of making journalists stop their searching and exclaim, “Yes! This is what I’ve been looking for!”
At JOTO PR Disruptors, our team of highly skilled writers will craft newsworthy press releases that will position your business and your brand as the industry disruptor you are, gaining you the media exposure by showing how you’re making a difference, and thereby making you the influencer, the opinion leader.
I can’t emphasize enough just how crucial it is that you get your press release right the first time out of the gate. But more urgent, is that don’t spend your time pondering if you have the time and skill. COVID-19 is not waiting on your next move before it makes one – it’s surging right now – and you know what that entails. It’s time to get ahead of that surge and make your own waves.
Let’s be real. You can’t afford to f’up right now. A bad press release has the potential to do reputational damage as much as an effective does to boost it. Don’t take the unnecessary risk of going it alone on this just so you might save a few dollars. Go with the PR pros who write market research-based, strategically planned releases literally on a daily basis. Releases that generate real, measurable ROI.
At JOTO PR Disruptors we’re rigorous in our approach to your communications, so much so that we’ll monitor your plan’s progress constantly, keeping an eye on every step we take, including your press releases, ensuring you’re getting the best possible return on your PR-Marketing-Sales Intelligent PromotionTM investment.
Read on and find out why you need should never treat your press releases as a joke, even when you have good intentions behind it. I guarantee, not everyone has the same sense of humor as you.