Twenty Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Press Releases

The press release has had a rough time of it lately. Call it the Rodney Dangerfield Bbc Science of marketing communications – press releases “don’t get no respect.”
That’s too bad, because even in this digital world the news release remains the building block of many effective communications programs. Done right, a news release can get your business noticed on the Internet, as well as alert news editors, news directors, bloggers, etc., of the important things taking place in your business.
The mistake many businesses make, however, is to limit distribution to the obvious recipients – the press.
Here’s how to increase the return on your investment in developing a release. Almost all of these ideas I have tried myself, and with only an exception or two, they are also free. You can’t beat that!
So here are twenty ways that you can use your release to communicate with your customers and prospects. –
1. Distribute your release to the appropriate news media. This sounds obvious but most companies either blast their release to every email address they can find, which simply annoys editors who have no interest in your industry, company, etc., or they develop a custom list and fail to look creatively at less obvious media.
2. Publish the release on your business web site. If the release is keyword rich, the search engines are more likely to index your story.
3. Send a copy of your release to your prospects. Even if the subject matter is not directly related to their interest in your business, most will appreciate being informed about your company. A personal note attached to the release can make this even more effective.
4. Distribute the release to your employees. Many businesses forget to do this, or only make copies available to employees who have an obvious need to know the contents. Keeping everyone in the company informed is a good practice. An intranet or company email is a suitable news delivery system.
5. Use Twitter to promote a link back to the release on your web site. Consider relevant hashtags that might increase the audience size and possible retweets.
6. Email the release to your in-house email list. This might include prospects, newsletter recipients, and others that you email to regularly. You don’t need to email the entire release – a link back to the web page with your release will work fine.
7. Include the release in your press kits. This might seem obvious but many press kits become stale after a while. Including copies of two or three of your most recent releases can help keep the kit up-to-date.
8. Use the press release as an auto-responder. Chances are you are getting inquiries about your business and services on a regular basis. If you are already using an auto-responder to let contacts know that you have received their email, why not include a link to your press release?
9. Use company bulletin boards to display the release. This can be in an area for employees or even a customer waiting area.
10. Use your company blog to publish the release. Adding appropriate tags can increase the chances of other bloggers and members of the press picking up your story.
11. Use online press release services to expand your news reach. If you are using a custom list of local or trade news outlets, it makes sense to consider national Business Tips For Instagram and international Internet press release services. Many of them are free and offer another opportunity to have your company name and news appear online.
12. Include your release – or perhaps a summary – in your product information mailings. Again, this is a way to make prospects and customers aware of the important events taking place at your business. Press releases included in such mailings always get noticed and are usually read from top to bottom.
13. Buy ad space to publish your press release. Many times editors will trim your release to the point where some of the main news items are lost. Buying ad space to your complete release is a cost-effective way to give audiences the complete story. And because using ad space for releases is relatively uncommon, they tend to get more noticed that regular ads in the same space. Obviously, if the editor completely ignores your release, publishing it in paid space is another strategy for getting it in front of your audience.
14. Include your release in shareholder kits. Having a current press release will increase the effectiveness of your shareholder kit. Potential shareholders will appreciate getting the latest information about your business and will transfer that interest into your other shareholder information.
15. Hand out copies of your press release at trade shows, conferences, and speaking engagements. Attendees at these kinds of events are inundated with brochures, key chains, and other paraphernalia. At the end of a long day the businesses who gave them these goodies meld together in one big blur. Including a press release as a handout is not something most businesses thing of. By doing so, your participation will be more memorable. And with the right contact information, this technique can result in more follow-up contacts.
16. Distribute the release at press conferences. While this might seem to be a no-brainer, most of the PR focus at such events is the reason for the press conference itself – a new business location, a new product line, etc. No doubt you will include background information about such news. In addition to having a press release about the event, consider including one or two other recent releases. It will keep the press better informed about your business and might result in news stories about other aspects of your business.
17. Post your press release on your company Facebook page. You have a Facebook page, right?
18. Insert your press release into customer statements and invoices. Your current customers are your best source for repeat business and referrals. Let them know about your new products and services and other company news.
19. Add a link to your press release in your employee email signatures. This communications tool can do far more than provide a web or email address. Including a link to important company news is a simple way to expand your audience reach.
20. Add your press release with appropriate tags to Delicious, Digg, and other social bookmarking and content sharing web sites. Audiences who are searching for information about your company, products, and industry will see your news story and possibly share it with other interested persons.

READ  Press Release Series: Distribution