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Dos and don’ts for a successful press release

Mastering the art of the press release is fundamental to a successful media strategy. They have been around in one form or another for over a century, so you’d perhaps think that the tools and techniques of presenting a good press release would be pretty well established. That’s true to an extent. There are certain elements of a successful press release that are fundamental and universally accepted. However, we live in a constantly evolving environment in which there is a lot of competition for media space. Here are a couple of things you should and shouldn’t do next time you sit down to prepare a press release for your business.

  1. DO post your press release on your own website. If your news is important enough to warrant a press release, then you want it to be shared as widely as possible. Exposure via external media outlets who pick up your press release is great, but if your business has an online presence, use it. Host a blog or news page on your website and use it to share important milestones for your business. A good overall media strategy will also involve utilizing other social media platforms to share your press release directly with your followers.
  1. DO target and tailor your press releases. Getting your story covered in a major national publication or online news outlet is great, but the competition for space in these venues is fierce. A good element of media strategy is targeting niche publications and outlets which might have smaller readerships, but whose readers may be a closer fit to your intended target audience. And while one good thing about a press release is that you can send the same release to dozens or even hundreds of outlets, it can also be a good idea to tailor press releases to different types of outlets; the same piece of news can be presented with a different angle depending on whether you’re submitting it to a national newspaper, a local magazine, a trade publication or a review blogger.
  1. DON’T send press releases that aren’t newsworthy. Celebrating an arbitrary milestone, winning a minor pay-to-play award or launching a new website might be important to you, but ask yourself the tough question of whether the general public will really care about your news. If the honest answer is no, then it shouldn’t be a press release. Media outlets don’t want to have their time wasted with non-news, and if your company press releases prove to be primarily self-promotional, they will be that much more likely to ignore future communications from you.
  1. DON’T be a nuisance. News outlets are under no obligation to share your stories. Badgering press and media contacts with constant follow-up emails or phone calls will sour their opinion of you very quickly – and if that happens, good luck getting any coverage of your next press release, no matter how important it might be.

There are many nuances to preparing a perfect press release, getting it in front of the right people and fostering relationships with those who can help to spread your brand message. Following these basic tips will help strengthen your media strategy and set you on the right track to achieving your marketing goals. Alternatively, you can contact a public relations firm like Beyond Fifteen Communications to help you craft the perfect press release and ensure it gets placed with the right media for maximum impact.

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