The power of the press release: Getting your share of the pieArticle added by Jeffery Hoyle on March 25, 2011
Jeffery Hoyle

Jeffery Hoyle

Denver, CO

Joined: August 21, 2010

Positive press can be a huge part of the life blood of your business and its public image. A well written press release can do more than some of the most pointed direct marketing efforts.

Here are some samples of news items posted on the Net over the last week:
    Gradient Financial Group, LLC, a national financial services organization, announced today that it received the Best Sales and Marketing Team Award from the Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce. The award was presented at the chamber’s Annual Gala & Excellence in Business Awards ceremony at Silverwood Park in St. Anthony on Friday, March 11, 2011.

    CTPartners, a leading global retained executive search firm, announced today that Kate Quinn has joined the firm as a partner in the Financial Services Practice. Her areas of expertise include credit and equity derivatives sales and trading; currencies; and alternative investment strategies, including long-short investing, statistical arbitrage, high-frequency, capital structure arbitrage, structured credit and correlation. She will be based in the New York office.

    Well-known Okanagan (BC) based financial company I. A. Pacific Life Kelowna has recently expanded and rebranded.
Each of these items reference a true news story from an actual publication, an online news service, or both, that got press coverage. Now why do I mention these? Simple, because they were press-worthy enough to make it into print. These are three prime examples of occurrences that happen in businesses daily all over the world, yet they still make the news. Are you following me so far?

Positive press can be a huge part of the life blood of your business and its public image. And sometimes the simplest change to your business can become a newsworthy event. These individuals and companies are only going to reap the benefits of these articles. Whoever said “any press is good press,” didn’t know the half of it.

So how did these articles make it into print? Simply put: a press release. A well written press release can do more than some of the most pointed direct marketing efforts. Why? Because clients reading an article about you or your business are potentially going to get an entirely different impression of you. You are planting a seed in your potential clients’ mind that isn’t likely to be perceived as so “in your face” as, say, a mail piece asking them point blank for their business. By giving your consumer a glimpse of your business from the outsiders’ perspective, it’s almost like they are looking at a snapshot of your business.
The first step in the process is ensuring that the press release is press-worthy. This may require the services of a professional writer. It is money well spent if the release leads to an article, and the article leads to new clients.

Now that’s not to say that just writing a press release and submitting it to your local newspaper is going to guarantee you press coverage. There are a number of free press release services on the Internet, but some of these entities don’t do the best job in distributing your release to the right entities; or enough of them.

With the social media revolution in full swing, it is important not to ignore the power of sites such as Twitter and Facebook. There are one-stop press release services online that are inclusive to these sites, as well as many others. A couple worthy of consideration are PRWeb Online and Marketwire. While these services are not free, the cost is minimal when you look at the bigger picture of what good press can do for you and your brand.
 
Now, it would be remiss of me not to mention the benefit of working with a public relations professional on a project such as this. They can give you perspective on how newsworthy your occurrence may be, and whether your money spent to put out a press release is even worth it. Even though you may be charged for this service, the cost could pale in comparison to what you might spend on an un-newsworthy event. It is also important to mention that, depending on your business structure, it may be necessary to check with your corporate compliance folks just to make sure they approve of your efforts.

There are no guarantees with any effort to promote your business, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Some will argue that press releases are ineffective, a subject we will tackle here in the near future. But the bottom line is this, and it bears repeating: “Any press is good press.” There is enough bad press out there, so why not spin it to the positive and enjoy the rewards?
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