Press releases do not have to go to major national newspapers or magazines. In fact unless you are very confident you have news of big enough for them to publish, focusing your efforts on smaller publications will pay more dividends.
However we do have clients who through clever marketing, wether through developing a niche or having new angle, have managed to reach the national press and television.
Every industry has publications dedicated to reporting the latest news and events. Because they are so often focused on a niche with limited scope they will welcome news from any source. If you are a local supplier (town/ region) you will also be surrounded by small local newspapers hungry for local news of any kind. You can find a comprehensive list of local newspapers at http://www.mediauk.com/newspapers.
Writing a press release
A press release should be able to let the editor literally copy and paste it. Make it easy to use.
Keep any references to your site in the 3rd person and don’t use any claims about your product or service outside of quotes. If you use any statistics put their source in the footer for the editor to verify. The headline should be attention grabbing and factual but not sensational.
- Good: ourcompany.com announce launch of free design clinic
- Bad: Rubbish website? ourcompany.com will sort it for you, free!!
The first paragraph should summarise the entire story to make sure the message is read and to prime the reader for what is to come.
Aim to start with the specifics and become more general as the press release goes along. Quotes are a great way to insert claims about the quality of your service or add a little sales patter.
Tom Watson, managing director of scoosh.com said “We know how hard it can be for small businesses to put aside time to re-design their website. Our free website audit is a risk free way for business owners to discuss how they can generate even more revenue through their website.
Distributing a press release
Finding the news editor’s contact details is usually straight forward and you can quickly build your own database of contacts to send press releases. If you want to send a press release to a much larger list you can use a ‘news wire’. How much they charge and the size of their distribution list will vary but you should be able to find a news wire that fits your budgetary requirements.
Despite falling sales there is still a large audience out there buying newspapers, magazines and trade papers. Many online businesses advertise heavily in specialist magazines, and that is the key to a successful print campaign, choosing the right publications for your target audience.
If you sell washing machine tubing aimed at B2B customers you wouldn’t advertise in the Radio Times. Narrow your target audience down by geography and/or interest and pick which publications fit in with those.
One of the drawbacks to this type of advertising is the inability to track how much traffic and how many conversions it sends through to your site.
If you want to track the effectiveness of your press advert you can:
- Use a special phone number
- Send them to a special landing page
- Give them a unique promotional code to use
They won’t cover every single visitor but they will help to compare the different publications effectiveness.