Press releases are a well-recognized way for businesses to spread the word about their company, employees or products. They have long been preferred by many organizations due to the fact that the business controls the information included as well as how that information is distributed.
Some consider press releases to be more reliable than advertising because they compel media outlets to cover a company or product, which garners attention the business doesn’t have to explicitly pay for. This is referred to as “earned media,” as opposed to advertising, which is termed “paid media.”
“Earned media,” however, seems to be an appropriate moniker, as circulating press releases can prove to be difficult if you don’t know which outlets to target or how to reach out to them. To help ease the process, here are five ways to promote your press release.
1. Use Online Press Release Services
There are a handful of websites that allow you to post your press release online. One of the benefits of posting your press releases online is that the information about your organization appears outside of your web properties, which is great for search engine optimization efforts.
Some of the more popular online press release sites include:
Most of these services charge fees for additional distribution options. In return for that fee, your press release is distributed to many journalists and news outlets, which subscribe to these sites and receive daily updates of new releases.
2. Post Your Press Release on Your Website
There is no reason why you can’t use your own website to promote your press release. This is especially useful if your website receives a steady stream of traffic, meaning your press release will be read by a large number of site visitors.
3. Promote Your Press Release via Social Media
If your business uses social media services like Twitter and Facebook, be sure to send out links to your press release via those sites. You can also include links to the press release in e-newsletters or other emails to your business contacts.
4. Forge Relationships With Appropriate Media Contacts
Press releases were originally used to alert news media of new developments in business. However, in order for journalists to truly take interest in your release, it must have two specific elements:
- It must be newsworthy.
- It must be directed to the right person.
Being “newsworthy” means that the subject of your press release must be of interest to more people than just you and your company. Anything that could have long-term effects in your industry or with consumers, in general, will typically pique journalists’ interests.
Additionally, journalists and other media specialists receive hundreds of emails a day. Many of these emails do not relate to them or the stories they cover. As such, be sure to do your research and find the appropriate media contact that is most likely to find your topic interesting.
Depending on the publication, there may be many different reporters who cover similar topics. The best way to determine who is the right contact for you is to research previous stories they’ve written. Once you’ve found the appropriate contact, make sure to develop a professional relationship with them. As an incentive, offer your expertise or network of connections to help with other stories they’re working on.
By acting as a resource for the media contact, he or she will be more receptive to promoting any press releases you send their way in the future.
5. Hold an Invitation-Only Event
If your press release topic is truly important to a variety of different people in your industry, hosting an event—such as a “lunch and learn” or a half-day workshop—is a great way to disseminate your press release while also establishing yourself as an industry expert. It’s also a good way to forge relationships with media and other members of the business community. Events, however, can get expensive, so before committing to fund the event, be sure you understand exactly what type of return on investment you can expect.
Using press releases to disseminate information about your organization is a great way to boost your search engine optimization, assert yourself as an expert in your field and promote your business. By using the techniques outlined above, you’ll be able to spread the word about your organization and make your press releases work for you.