How to Market Like a Pro: Press Releases 101

Newswire services are more accessible than ever. They are mainly used by PR professionals and businesses to make sure their news is heard by journalists, bloggers and websites. These newslines biggest selling feature is the network of journalists that they can contact. Unless you have pretty extensive contacts, you’re just not going to have the same sort of reach.  

So what is a newswire? It’s a paid for service that includes press release feds distribution services doing the same. Obviously, there’s a big difference between the big players such as the Press Association and Reuters and free online feeds. Now, some journalists aren’t overly fond of these wires, seeing them as just full of junk and not very useful. Press release reviews are an excellent way to see how this works in action. Journos don’t just use the wires for news stories, although that is their prime function. Just over half are said to have used them for article and new feature ideas, too.  A lot use these services for just keeping their finger on the pulse. It’s useful for monitoring trends and innovations in their own particular niche or industry. They’re also useful for fact checking. It’s not difficult to see why newswires are such big business!

So should you use a newswire to get your businesses news out there? Well, that depends. First of all, is it something worth shouting out. Sure, you may be pleased with your brand new logo, but it’s doubtful that anybody else is. So unless your story is something that either the general public or people in your industry will find genuinely newsworthy? It’s not worth writing that press release. These are maybe ideas for your company blog, or a LinkedIn post – not something worth spending lots of money on; that’s for sure.

What should you be doing to build your press coverage? Work on is developing relationships with journalists and people who can help extend your reach. That’s one of the core principles of PR and marketing. But what if you’re new to all this? What if you’ve been going a while but haven’t done much in the way of this before? Then, you might not have the contacts you need just yet. So continue trying to engage and build a rapport with relevant writers and publications. But in the meantime, having your press release distributed professionally will help you get your name out to the world!

If you decide to use a newswire service, then you need to think about your audience and your budget. There’s no point hitting the big players if you’re promoting your stall at a farmers market. Instead, you want to aim for a wire that places releases with people who are within your own niche or area.  Smaller distribution services are cheaper than most of the bigger agencies. Therefore, you stand a greater chance of a journalist picking up on your story. And that’s the aim of the whole thing, is it not?

When it comes to writing your press release, there are lots of guides available online to show you the right way to do it. They generally follow a standard format, so you’re best to keep within the confines of that. Don’t make it too long whatever you do, try to keep it at a page or less. Never exceed more than a page and a half. Unless your story is groundbreaking, it’s not likely that anyone will bother to read the whole thing through.

The first paragraph is the most important part of your press release. You need to make sure all the main facts are in there. Think who, what, why where and when, and you’ll have the main bases covered. If you don’t feel confident in your writing skills, then find someone who knows what they are doing. A poorly written release isn’t going to be taken seriously by your target audience, so don’t risk your reputation. It doesn’t cost a fortune to have a press release written. Try freelance sites like People Per Hour where you can outsource the job to professionals. If you brief them properly, they’ll be able to produce something that journalists will be more likely to read, and use.

Getting your businesses products or services to a wider audience i crucial for the growth of your company. You want to build up a position where you are seen as a leader in your field, and by using the press to your advantage, this can be achieved. Don’t be disheartened if it takes a while; great things come to those who wait. Keep trying, and your perseverance will pay off.

Photo by Kinja | Shutterstock

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