Critical Components of Effective Press Releases

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From Flickr user: NS Newsflash/Jon S

Building buzz for a business starts with there being something to talk about, whether it is what a company does or how it is contributing to the community. Large companies aren’t the only ones that can take advantage of sending out press releases. Even if no local publications pick up a company’s news, the press release can still prove beneficial.

But before delving into creating a press release, there are a couple questions you should ask yourself:

  1. Is My Topic Newsworthy? — This is the toughest question a business owner can ask. Trying to determine what journalists find important can be difficult, as business owners and managers are sometimes too close to the situation to accurately estimate this. When I create press releases for clients, I consider the likelihood of a newspaper or radio station running the news. Every news organization is a little different, but all publications want to know one thing: how does your news effect their readers/viewers? If there is no effect, then there shouldn’t be a news release sent out to the media.
  2. Is Your Press Release Timely? — Print newspapers are mocked for producing “yesterday’s news” in an age where most information is instant and many won’t publish old news. Make sure you get your press release in quickly after your news breaks, whether you are submitting your news release online or to local media groups. If there is no particular time associated with the news, try to tie it to something recent for a better chance of getting published.

Even if a news release doesn’t stand up to these two questions, they can still be used to help out a business. Post the press release on the company blog and then submit it to one or more public relations websites for a boost to the business’ website. Journalists will still be able to find the news release (most conduct daily Google searches on their area or niche) and you get some extra publicity.

Next week, I’ll post some tips on how to write better press releases.

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