Press Releases, And Why You Should Use Them

We've talked about a few different ways to get your message out there - whether you're using a podcast, video for the web, social media, or a blog.  Whether you're tech savvy or not, a good old press release is still another great way to get your news out there.  

In this day and age, why should you use a press release?  

There are plenty of reasons to use press releases.  For starters, press releases are a great way for people to find out about the things you're doing.  Press releases provide valuable publicity to help spread a message. In the technological world we live in, today’s press releases not only help companies get media coverage through traditional news outlets - but also through bloggers and new media resources.  Press releases can also provide SEO benefits.  I know of a few websites that include a press section where they list links to news articles, in addition to the company's press releases.

If your company has newsworthy information to share, a well-distributed press release can help spread it to the masses.

Content aside, one of the biggest questions that arises when it comes to press releases is how - and where - to distribute it.  The best distribution list is one that only you can truly curate. When sitting down to prep your distribution list start with companies you know.  Include vendors, partners, and key customers.  Include people you have a relationship with, the ones who have helped you get established and grow.  From there, include a list of local media.  Reach out to the local newspapers, regional newspapers, local radio and television stations, and regional radio and television stations.  Don't forget to include your local business newspaper.  Now that you have regional outlets covered, take a look at media associated with your particular industry.  Include trade magazines, professional associations and blogs.  Lastly, check your e-mails.  Are there account managers who contact you for advertising?  Include them!

Now that you have your list compiled, it's time to start preparing your press release for submission.  If you don't know who to contact at a particular agency, be sure to check out the "Contact Us" page on their website.  If there is a specified media relations or press contact, use the designated press liaison.  It will help you from having your e-mail completely ignored.  Also remember to properly identify your e-mail as a press release with "PRESS RELEASE" or "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE" in the subject line.  Be sure to also include a proper content description, i.e. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Sidekick Media Services Announces New Blog Post.  Okay, don't include a press release for a blog post - be sure to make it something noteworthy...no NEWSworthy.  You do, after all, want someone to read it and act upon it.  

Missy Sorg