WHO WANTS SOME FREE PUBLICITY?
THE POWER OF PR with Danae Jones
Media releases are a great way to get credible exposure for your business without having to spend thousands of dollars on advertising.
If the release is newsworthy enough for a media outlet to follow, you could potentially have your business mentioned on radio news bulletins, in newspapers and magazines and on the daily television news within twenty-four hours of the distribution time.
So great you say, let’s send a media release out about our company every week! This will not get you the exposure you expect, you do have to be very selective as to when you send your media releases out and what story you want the media to follow. Newsrooms are very busy places and news editors and journalists don’t have the time to read through mountains of boring media releases each day. As it is hundreds of emails are sent through to newsrooms and it’s only the well written, “newsworthy” releases that get picked up.
When I say “newsworthy”, I mean a subject matter that is interesting and topical.
This is why it’s so important for companies to use a professional to write their media releases for them. Public Relations professionals know what the media look for and are able to deliver the story to the media in a format that is “newsworthy”.
A misconception many people have is that anyone can write a media release, if you’re good at English than you’ll be good at writing a press release. This is not the case, developing a well written, catchy release takes a lot of time and skill and it’s usually journalists or creative writers that are the best ones at doing this type of job. So, the next time you ask your marketing department to send out a release for your company, think again. While some marketing staff are great at writing releases, others are very poor, and tend to just put a sales pitch of the company on paper. Speaking from experience, a journalist can’t stand this type of blatant advertising and those releases usually end up deleted. The way your story is presented to the media is crucial.
Another key thing to remember when sending a media release out, is make sure you are available for interviews. I can’t emphasise this enough. So often businesses send them out and think that’s all that is expected of them, and when the media try to contact them for more information, they’re unable to speak with anyone. This not only makes journalists frustrated, but also means that your story won’t rate a mention. When you send a release out you are basically saying – “This is an invitation for you to call me and follow this story further”.
So what are some things the media may be interested in covering about your business?
New Products or Services
Awards, achievements, or recognition given to the company or staff
Statistics relating to your industry
Securing a big contract
Sponsorship of large events
Something that has never been done before
Media releases are a great way to not only get your message out there, but to help raise the profile of your organisation. When your company appears in the news, you automatically gain credibility.
Danae Jones is Principal of PR & Marketing firm Danae Jones Consulting