I just read an article by Michael Masterson claiming the wonders of free publicity if you send out a press release approximately every two weeks . He claimed you should send one out every time you:
- create a new product, product line, or division
- open a new office
- sign a major contract
- win an award
sponsor a local charity or team
Unfortunately, these kinds of press releases rarely get picked up by anyone.
Maybe your local business journal might find it interesting and the charity event story might be picked by a local newspaper but this isn’t the kind of business-building free publicity most companies are looking for.
What’s worse, he suggests you do-it-yourself rather than have a professional do it for you. There are some things you can do for yourself. Writing press releases isn’t one of them.
For one thing, reporters don’t care one whit about your firm, it’s products or services, or you. What they care about are stories that their readers would find interesting, educational or titillating. Their job is to inform and entertain their readers. Not to promote your company.
What does this mean to you?
Your press release needs to be tied to a major news happening. Case in point: The bridge collapse over Highway 35W in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Sending out a press release that you just won the contract to build the new bridge might get a sentence or two in a local story.
Sending out a press release on how to survive a bridge collapse will get coverage in every major city in the country. listing yourself as the authority in the story is how you get news coverage.
Why should you pay a professional to write it?
There’s a reason I don’t have a do it yourself e-course on writing press releases. Reporters of all stripes are in the most harried, deadline-intensive business in the world. If they get two press releases, one written just like a news story that they can put directly in the paper, and one obviously written by someone who doesn’t understand journalism and journalistic style that they have to re-write before they can publish it, guess who gets in the paper, magazine or on the news? And guess which firm gets contacted as a “topic expert” the next time that reporter is working on a similar or related topic?
If you’re looking for a professional to manage your PR campaign, I suggest you talk to Barbara Mednick of BKM Consulting. You can call her at 651-486-7007 or email her at info at bkmconsulting.com.