Ever wonder how public relations strategy can improve the performance of your business? If you intend to use PR, then you should consider press releases. A press release comes in the form of written communication and reports about a specific event, product launch, or other significant occasions to your business. Press releases are business-related, and they are provided to the media so that the journalists can write stories from the information portrayed.
While a press release is an effective PR tool, it does not necessarily mean that the media will run it. Media houses will first determine if the contents of the press release are of interest to the readers. Journalists are mainly after events that are newsworthy and can benefit the community somehow. Therefore, you can consider other media outlets like tweeters, bloggers, and social media networks that might be interested in your press release. There are also other things that you need to consider concerning your offering. After writing your press, here is what you need to do next to achieve your desired goals.
Target the Right Media
The primary goal of a press release is to promote something significant to your business. Additionally, a press release comes with a specific purpose, and it is mainly used for three promotional purposes that include the following:
- Notify the media about forthcoming events hoping that they will spread the word.
- Share something important about your business hoping that the reporters can write a news article about the story covered in your press release.
- Promote the visibility of your business online via different channels like social media, websites, and blogs.
This is why, after writing a press release, you should target the right media to increase the chances of journalists writing something about your business. There are different kinds of media available, and you should mainly target print media and other online publications.
Media targeting strongly depends on the size and type of your business. If you operate a small business, it would be a good idea to target local or community media. Corporations and other big companies can target mainstream media and other channels available. If you have a small business, it might be a futile exercise to target large media organizations since they may not consider your press release.
Look for Active Journalists
When your press release is ready, the next thing that you should do is target the right journalists to cover the event. According to research, other press releases end up in the hands of journalists who rarely cover similar issues. Therefore, you should send your pitch to the appropriate reporters who regularly cover the same stories. Experienced editors at Ereleases.com explain that press releases that are “sent to all” contacts end up in the spam folder. As a result, your press release might end up failing to get the coverage that you want. For instance, if your business deals with wellness and health issues, it is a good idea to target seasoned journalists in this niche. In most cases, it might also be perfect to send your press release to general business reporters.
Before you send the press release to the target reporters, you must write an attention-grabbing subject line in your email. Make sure you personalize the email and address the recipient by their name if you want them to respond. Sending generic emails with boring subject lines is a surefire way to condemn your press release to the trash folder. About 79% of the recipients are likely to open personalized emails with eye-catching subject lines. If the subject line is powerful, it is likely to grab the reporter's attention, and they will know that the press release has value.
On top of that, you must copy and paste the press release into the body of the email before sending it to your target reporter. Journalists are not likely to open unsolicited documents, especially from the senders they do not know. Therefore, pasting the release into the body of the email gives the reporter direct access to the document without needing to open a file attached.
Follow-up With an Email
After sending the emails to selected journalists, check the ones that have opened the email. If a reporter opens an email, there are chances that they may be considering writing a story about the press release. You can make a follow-up with another email to remind them about your release. However, you need to be courteous and avoid phoning the reporters since they can consider calls from unknown people as an interruption.
Sending an email is the most appropriate way to show that you respect the journalist’s time. This can also help you create a rapport with different journalists if you show that you value their profession. However, if the reporter does not respond, just leave them and assume that they are not interested in the press release. Repeated attempts to contact the journalists to have your story covered can make them ignore your future correspondence.
A press release is an effective PR tool that helps you to communicate different issues about your business. Essentially, this document aims to create goodwill between your organization and its stakeholders. In the event of a crisis, you should know that you can use a press release to manage the situation. It can work as a crisis management vehicle to promote the transparency of your business. Therefore, you should know how to handle a crisis communication situation. However, you should not show desperation to the extent of begging reporters to cover your story.
In your crisis communication press release, you must define the challenges that your organization and the stakeholders are facing. More importantly, you need to outline concrete measures that you plan to take to mitigate the impacts of the damage likely to be caused by the situation. It is essential to take steps that can help stop speculation about the crisis among different circles. Your company must respond by communicating credible facts and tell the story using your voice to promote transparency and accountability. You must ensure that you have something that will appeal to the emotional interests of your audience. This can help your release to gain the media coverage that you so much desire at that particular moment.
Correct Timing is Vital
Once your press release is ready, you should make it available to the members of the media fraternity. When you make the information public, anyone can share it and this will help you to gain publicity. Timing is critical, especially if you want to launch a product or publicizing an upcoming event. You need to get sufficient coverage before the actual day that you intend to host the event.
You should make sure that you notify the media in advance so they get the details of the upcoming event. It is important to remember that some press releases have time limits concerning the period that the media can report about them. The most appropriate time for a press release is a few days before the main event. You may specify the date that you would want coverage of the occasion to begin if you intend to make it secret.
Schedule Your Review
The next step after the media have begun to publicize your press release is to schedule a review date to look at specific data. You may need to see how many people have viewed your press release on different platforms. It is also crucial to check social media sites where your release is doing well. Therefore, you must get time to review the analytics after the press release has been distributed to different media organizations. You also need to continue reviewing your release on various sites.
Feedback from the journalists and other stakeholders is very important if you want to measure the success or failure of your press release. Once the release goes into the public domain, it is likely to reach many people. In turn, the target audience will respond to your new offering and this can help you to make necessary changes. Feedback does not necessarily mean that you should expect positive comments only. Negative views are not bad for your business since they help you to gain insight into the expectations of the target audience.
Improve Your Media Page
You should improve the image of your website and make sure that it is always up-to-date. The advantage of updating your page is that the journalists can easily access any information should they need it. In other words, you should aim to drive traffic to your website to raise brand awareness among different people. A website that provides relevant information to the visitors makes it easier for the reporters to write meaningful stories. Such stories can promote the performance of your brand. The other important element is that you should not only target journalists, but other social media platforms to publicize your press release.
You can also write down additional details that you may need to follow up with reporters. If a reporter shows interest in your press release, you should go the extra mile and provide all the information that you think helps make a good story. You should meaningfully engage all the reporters and be ready to answer their questions. This can go a long way in creating a relationship that fosters mutual understanding between your company and the journalists.
On its own, a press release is just a tip of a great story that you should share with your audience. Therefore, you must be prepared to share fuller details about your business. You can also follow up on different reporters with key pieces of information. The details might help them write stories that add value to the lives of many people. If the reporters get the information they want, they may be interested in running stories about your release.
Write a New Release
If you realize that your press release is performing below expectations and not achieving the set goals, it is never too late to write another release. All you need to do is to identify the weaker points in your previous release. You must then refine them to appeal to the emotional interests of many people. You should not simply make minor changes since these may not make any difference. If possible, you can take a different slant while at the same time retaining your original idea.
You must organize your analytics from your previous release so that you get accurate data. A new press release should not be a diversion from the original one since this can confuse people. You may also talk to reporters and get their views about the changes that may be necessary to improve your storyline.
What you Should Know About a Press Release?
You must always remember that a press release does not always guarantee you success in whatever you aim to achieve. You should not anticipate that all media outlets will respond to all press releases that you write. However, you should not give up since successful publicity is determined by a sustained effort. A press release is a key component of public relations strategy, so you should look for ways that can make your release stand out. Outstanding releases will help you get the media coverage that you may need.
A press release is a free public relations tool that can be used by businesses to launch new products, manage a crisis, or inform the audience about upcoming events. There are different steps that you should follow to write a press release. However, there are more important things that you should do if you want your release to get the coverage you need in different media. It is essential to target the right media outlets and journalists with knowledge in the area that you want to publicize. Correct timing is crucial if you wish to achieve your desired goals. You also need to monitor and review the performance of your release in different media. Above all, keep your media page up to date and make sure you respond to the reporters should they need additional information about the press release.