How to Engage Your Press Release Readers
So, you wrote and published a press release! Great news, because online press releases are one of the hottest marketing tools available in the online marketer’s arsenal. Press releases work well for small businesses, large businesses, and every size business in between. Press releases are “weightier” than advertisements, or even than a post on your company’s website. Right or wrong, people tend to believe what they see in the news. And, press releases feed right in to that pattern.
Of course, if you write a press release and no one cares about whatever it is you’re announcing, you’ve got a problem. So, in the rest of this post, let’s talk about how to engage your readers—the right ones—and how to hopefully make them want to follow up on your press release by calling your phone, visiting your website, or in general, taking whatever action you want them to take.
Who Are Your Target Readers?
Just as in advertising, “everybody” is a completely useless word and concept. We don’t market to everybody! We market to what we perceive to be the target market for a product or service. Take diapers, for instance. How many diapers ads do you see in the AARP (American Association of Retired People) monthly magazine? Hmmm…probably zero? There’s a reason for that. Who wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars, or more, advertising to people who’ve already past that stage in life?
Whose Attention Are You Trying to Get?
Of course, press releases aren’t really advertisements—except the really are! So, you might be publishing a press release not to get more customers or clients, but to connect with potential business partners. Looking for the next, or even first, round of financing for your business? A series of press releases will go a long way to establishing you as a serious entrepreneur with a serious business. That said, nothing’s really changed from what I said above, you just have a much smaller audience of target readers.
Begin with the End in Mind
The important part of all of this is as follows: press releases are very powerful marketing weapons. But—to continue the analogy—they actually have to be aimed at something in order to be effective. You should be publishing press releases on a regular basis! But, before you do, you might want to figure out what you want to get out of this!
What to Write Your Next Press Release About
If you’re interested in publishing press releases for marketing your business, you’ve made a great decision. Press releases are one of the strongest marketing tools out there. People believe what they see in the news, press releases are evergreen, and they generally have an aura of authority about them, even though they’re normally paid for and published by a given business in order to promote itself. If you haven’t experienced the benefits you and your business can get from press release marketing, consider giving it a go!
How to Get Started
When you sit down to plan your first press release, or even your first series of press releases, you’re going to need to figure out what topic you’re going to write about—or have a writer write about. Sometimes that’s obvious, because a major event in your business has just been reached or is headed your way shortly. Often though, the best topics for your next press release are anything but clear, especially if you’ve been publishing press releases regularly, which you should be doing!
To help your creative juices start to flow, I’m going to talk about five main areas of topic for your next press release. Consider each of these in order, make notes, and you’ll come up with more ideas than you need.
Okay, let’s start with the obvious. Has anything at all happened that could be considered even remotely like news in your business? Changes in staff, location, product line, pricing structure. Basically, anything that your stakeholders might be interested in knowing about. If so, these are a great topic for a press release, or press releases. Let’s drill down into this some!
Any New Products?
Of special interest are new product launches. How’s the updated version of last year’s product coming? Is it ready to get out the door? How does that impact buyers of the older model, if any? All of these questions point directly to perfect topics for a press release.
Any Big Events?
Is your business reaching any new milestones? One year in business? Twenty years in business? How about your annual corporate event? When is that? We publish press releases to spread information, sure, but we also publish them to get attention. Don’t think your newsworthy event has to be momentous. If it is, great. But if it isn’t go ahead and get that press release out there anyway.
Changes in Products?
Press releases are excellent vehicles for announcing anything that’s changing with a given product or product line. Have you updated your manufacturing process? Are you sourcing products overseas? Are you sourcing materials in your home country? Anything that’s changing can be turned in to a great topic!
Exemplary Staff or Employees?
Who’s your top salesperson? Of course, he or she will be recognized at your end of the year event, but how about shooting out a press release on the subject? Doesn’t have to be a key employee, either! How about the student answering the phone on the weekends? Does he or she go the extra mile all the time? You might balk at publishing a press release on this subject, but this is a great topic! It humanizes your business to other people, endears your employees, and also makes your company look very forward thinking when it comes to employer/employee relations.
Get Ideas Yet?
After reading these few paragraphs, you should be brimming with ideas! Next step is to hire a writer and then publish your press release. Don’t drop the ball! If you do, nothing will happen and you’ll be exactly where you currently are next month or next year.