A press release is a concise, complete description of an upcoming news event, or a timely report of an event. It is a brief, well-written, factual account of some news about your company, product or service.
WHY IS A PRESS RELEASE IMPORTANT?
Public Relations and Publicity are critical to the success of any business, especially now that the Internet has broadened the sphere of news and information dissemination. In order to receive as much media coverage as possible for your company or yourself, you must create press releases, news releases, and Press Kits and distribute them to the media.
WHAT IS A PRESS KIT?
Every PR plan should include the creation of a press kit to be used in a variety of ways. Besides being sent to the media, it can be given to potential clients, customers, employees, subcontractors, agents, and others. It is informational in nature and can be substituted for more expensive marketing materials like videos. Press kits include news releases, company profiles, background/resumes/photos of principals, corporate strategies or mission statement, the company’s printed materials, press clippings, testimonials.
HOW IS A PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN?
Press releases briefly summarize the essence of the story. They provide news reporters and writers in the media with a quick glance and overview of the issues. A press release should be written as if it were going to be reproduced as a news story on the front page of the most important newspaper in the world. Since it is the first source for the reporter it should convey the importance of the issues involved presented in a factual, orderly manner. News releases are generally factually oriented, although they can be written in the format of a feature story. They must incorporate all the 5 Ws of Journalism, explaining the who, what, where, when, and why of the story.
IS THERE AN ACCEPTED FORMAT FOR A PRESS RELEASE?
Yes. One page is best. Use one idea per paragraph, create simple sentences, use proper grammar, check spelling, eliminate typos, and use the accepted format. Contrary to popular convention, press releases written in feature format can be effective.
Five Steps for Writing a Press Release:
WHO OR WHAT IS THE MEDIA?
The media includes community, local,
regional, national and international newspapers, general interest, specialty
and trade magazines and publications, radio, television, wire services and
Internet websites, blogs and portals. It includes the trade publications
associated with businesses, associations, organizations
WHAT IS A DEADLINE?
Newspapers, magazine, radio and television all have different deadlines. Any given newspaper will have different or staggered deadlines for each section of the newspaper - sports, life style, etc. Magazine deadlines vary depending upon a number of factors. Some magazines assign a topic to an issue - a golf issues, or fashion. Radio news stations can interrupt with a breaking story, as can television stations. Usually, these interruptions are not made until there is some disaster to report. Otherwise, radio and television deadlines occur, depending on the type of news you have, at least five hours prior to the newscast.
HOW DO YOU TARGET PRESS RELEASE DISTRIBUTION TO THE MEDIA?
Distribution of the press kit or a single press release involves the need for a comprehensive analysis of the company’s target media market with input from the marketing and business plans. Targeted media include outlets, which directly, and sometimes indirectly, affect the business of the company.
WHO RECEIVES A NEWS OR PRESS RELEASE?
Press and media outlets include national, international, regional, and city newspapers, local community papers, wire services, business oriented magazines, newsletter, free Internet sites, trade publications, general circulation publications, television and radio stations.
HOW IS A PRESS RELEASE DISTRIBUTED?
Targeted media include outlets, which directly, and sometimes indirectly, affect the business of the company. Wire services devoted specifically to this business, deliver press releases directly to computers in the newsrooms of radio and television station, and newspapers and magazines across the country. There are many ways to deliver a press release to the media. It can be couriered, mailed, faxed, express mailed, emailed, satellited, hand or electronically delivered. There are numerous services devoted specifically to delivering the press release directly to newsrooms of radio and television station, and newspapers and magazines across the country. One of the most effective means of press release distribution is by publishing the information on the company’s web site. Web sites provide a snapshot view of the company and are easy to access for a growing percent of the population. They are the electronic marketing tools.
ARE THERE OTHER WAYS TO DISTBUTE PR INFORMATION?
The use of digital brochures and CD-ROMs to tell the PR stories is popular and user-friendly. These formats are much more expensive than a written press release. However, many companies use this technology. Corporate image videos are effective public relations tools. They can be used for internal training and external PR. A corporate video can be used for satellite broadcasts, or as a tool at trade shows, conventions, meetings, in hospitality suites, and to enhance speeches and presentations.
WHAT IS PUBLIC RELATIONS?
Public Relations is an invisible marketing partner. Everyone in business who wants to be more successful should take advantage of the hidden value of public relations. Public relations is the creation of goodwill. It is a way of increasing the climate of belief. It is a marketing strategy created specifically to gain acceptance and support for a company's goods and services. It can be most effective when the PR efforts reach an untapped market and motivate people to take action.
HOW DOES PUBLIC RELATIONS WORK?
Public Relations involves publicity, sponsorships, special events, customized promotions, speaking engagements, and newsletters. Like advertising, but without the hard sell, PR makes potential customers aware of the benefits they will receive from the product or service. Public relations is anything imaginable which produces the desired results of increasing the bottom line of your business.
WHY IS PR ESSENTIAL?
Public relations can enhance the achievement of specific business goals. It can boost sales, improve management’s morale, increase client base. Public relations is often difficult to measure. But it can be extremely successful when the message, identity or image desired in the marketplace is carefully defined and reinforced with uniform consistency.
WHAT IS PUBLICITY?
Publicity, a form of PR, is a way of raising
awareness through news or feature stories in the media. Studies have shown
editorial space is 3.5 times more believable than paid advertising.
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