I know a guy who is a school teacher by day and a freelance writer at night. He does pretty well for himself and does a good job at keeping his two lives separate; however, every now and then someone from school finds his freelance site and starts asking questions. When that happens, he inevitably ends up getting volunteered to do extra writing for the school, as he’s told me about on numerous occasions.
Recently, I was talking with my friend and he was telling me how he’s become the go-to press release writer at his school. Every time a group wins something, a club puts on a presentation, or the school receives a special recognition, he ends up at his computer putting together a release. Pro bono of course. Now, he wasn’t complaining about it—he likes to help out. But what he said to me was that he is shocked at how many people come to him wanting him to put together a press release, but then have no idea what to do with it. He’ll hand it over, they read it and smile, tell him how great it is, and then pause, looking lost.
I got to thinking about it and I wondered…how many people are out there, knowing that they should write a release about their newsworthy event, but then have no clue what to do with it? There’s got to be a lot of them, right? I mean that’s one of the reasons I’m in business. So anyway, during that conversation, I realized maybe a blog post was in order.
So, what CAN you do with that press release you just wrote (or had written for you)?
- Put it on the news section of your company website—Do people still have news sections on their websites? Well, while some people have replaced this with a blog at this point, some companies still maintain a news section on their website for quick updates on upcoming events, awards, etc. Your news room also acts as a great resource for the media. If you fall under that category, maybe you should put your PR in your news section. For customers who click on the link, it makes your news sound official and important, thereby possibly causing them to take you a bit more seriously. Consider keeping it off your actual blog though. Blogs should be more conversational. So maybe write a blog post about the info in the release.
- Send it to your local paper—It isn’t easy to get major papers to cover your story. But it’s a heck of a lot easier to get your town journal to write about you than it is New York Times. Why? Because they have less things to talk about. Many of those reporters are dying for someone to come in with a good story. Especially if it’s a “local boy makes good” kind of deal. So don’t set your sights so high that you overlook the smaller fish in the media pond. You can’t discount those local networking and business opportunities.
- Give it to me—Okay, I don’t like to use my blog to advertise my services. Generally I’m just sharing information I deem useful. But hey, if you don’t know what to do with that release, hand it over. I know exactly what to do with it and I’ll squeeze it for everything it’s worth by getting your press release to the right people!
Of course, these are just a few of the many things you can do with your press releases. What do you do with your press releases?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/prchecklist.html