A press release is an excellent way to gain publicity and exposure for your business. A press release is a document containing information that you would like a media organization to feature, such as general information about your business, a special event that you are holding, or a special incentive you are offering.
By having a story featured in a newspaper, magazine, or other form of media, your business will receive publicity and credibility. You can also use the clippings of paper stories and links to stories featured through electronic media as part of your press kit.
You can submit a press release at any time, however you may find that the media features stories about businesses when something special is happening, such as a grand opening, special event, or special offer.
There is a simple format to use when writing a press release. If your story can be published at any time, the words “For Immediate Release” should appear at the top left hand corner. However, if the information should only be released after a certain date, use the phrase “For Release After [insert date]. Under that, include your contact information.
The next area of the press release is the “body”. This is the part of the press release where you include the information you want to publicize. Try to keep your press release under two pages. If it is more than one page include the word “more” at the end of the first page. At the end of your press release insert three number symbols (###).
As you write the body of your press release, keep it focused, clear, and concise. Try to answer the five basic questions – who, what, why, where, and when. Who are you, and what, exactly, are you promoting? Why is your target market interested in this? When and where is this taking place?
Once you are finished with your press release, you will want to submit it to the media. This can be to your local media outlets, such as newspapers, regional magazines, radio and television stations, or media outlets in geographic areas that you want publicity in. If you are promoting an event that will happen on a specific day, submit your press release early enough so that it has time to be received and facts can be checked, etc.
You can also submit your press release to electronic media, such as newswire services, Internet Talk Radio programs, and more.
If your story does not get picked up, don’t give up on press releases. Try a different media source, or rewrite your press release and submit it when you have something to promote. The media receives many, many press releases and cannot publish a story on every one of them. If you keep trying, you will find publicity.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.