I promote the importance of press releases because they are the great equalizer. A small company, or even an individual, has as much chance of getting media attention as a big, well-financed company. Sure, the big company might be able to afford its own public relations department as well as coordinate with high-priced publicists. But the cornerstone of that big company’s PR campaign will be the lowly press release.
Why does the press release get no respect?
- It can be poorly written by an intern and then blamed when the media doesn’t respond.
- It can be “distributed” [i.e., posted on a website] by a free or low-cost press release service and then blamed when the media doesn’t respond.
- The press release can fail … miserably.
A press release must succeed on its own merits, including factors like strong headline, great hook, timeliness, and newsworthiness.
A press release must also be distributed properly. If you’re going to post your press release on a free or low cost press release service’s website, understand that you failed your press release. With few exceptions, that press release was never viewed by the media. If you go this route and believe press releases don’t work, you are misguided.
A proper press release distribution should consist of posting over a bonafide newswire (like PR Newswire), reaching journalists online and in newsrooms across the country. You should also send your press release to your own personal media contacts — journalists who have expressed an interest in or actually written about your company in the past.
By using a service like eReleases, which reaches journalists nationwide through a newswire as well as our internal database of subscribing journalists, you are giving your press release the bare minimum of acceptable press release distribution. You can read about going beyond the bare minimum by establishing relationships with key media by reading: Press Release Distribution for Maximum Media Pickup (including the comments to the article).
You should also know that a single press release rarely yields results, even when you use a true press release distribution service [Read: Public Relations Basics: There Is No Magic Press Release Bullet]. You must shift your view on public relations from being measured by a single press release to being measured over a period of time (like six months to a year), where you feed the media a steady diet of newsworthy press releases. You must constantly tweak your press releases, trying a variety of headlines and hooks, to find out what works.
You can replicate the bulk of what a PR firm might charge in excess of $30,000 for under $3,200 at eReleases (package of six press releases for $3150), which includes press release writing and press release distribution. Even more importantly, your press release will be written by seasoned writers, not low-paid interns at a high-priced PR firm. In addition, you will have a true metric of whether press releases work for your company. You will restore the respect the press release truly deserves.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.