A big issue facing all businesses – home, small, or large – is marketing or getting the word on the street. How can others learn about my product and services? Tweets, Facebook posts, emails and posting notices may help, but generally will not provide adequate exposure. This is a significant challenge if a business is locally based; more so when no brick and mortar presence (store front) is visible to passersby.
All is not lost! Consider a press release. The media is still the most significant and powerful form of marketing yet invented and provides instant credibility and exposure. How often have we heard “I read it in…” or “I heard it on…” so it must be true? This concept, known as ‘social proof‘, prods people to browse or purchase. A story in a local newspaper or trade publication is often a golden ticket to curious individuals and can instantly create clientele.
Press releases are used on the Internet too, potentially creating traffic from search engines such as Google or Yahoo and exposing a business to a larger audience. This is a major advantage when a target market is geographically large or the business sells via the web.
Tips for writing a winning press release:
– Consider the ‘newsworthy’ nature of the release. Why would a journalist write your story? A journalist writes to sell copy – the article – not your product or service. Give them something unique and they’ll gladly write about it. FOR FREE! Both sides win; the writer sells more copy and the business gains clients.
– What is unique or distinctive about your product or service? Have you recently opened a theme restaurant or patented the Chia Chinchilla? Do you have a new product or service for your target area? This product or service may have succeeded elsewhere but is fresh and original where you are.
– Write in an inverted pyramid style. This is different than fictional writing in which a story builds. In a press release, put the important points first – who, what, where, when, how, why – and leave the details for the second half. Readers like to skim and the first lines must catch their attention.
– Be short and to the point. 300 to 500 words, no more. Be concise, simple, and relevant.
– The title of your release should be less than 10 words. More becomes an article and bores. Make it catchy and grab the reader.
– Include contact information. Address, phone number, web site (URL), or email. Ensure the person that responds to inquiries knows the product or service. Don’t turn off new clients with incorrect information.
– Use PRWeb. Prweb.com is an Internet press release distribution service. A business owner and friend of Homepreneurs, Craig Knickerbocker of American Industrial Werks, comments: “I highly recommend if at all possible spending the extra money on the press release service that will get your release listed in the search engines. Usually this will happen within 24 hours of release. For PRweb this cost at this time is about $200.00. This is how you get the search engines to follow your links (called backlinks) which you will of course included in your press release. I can’t stress enough how much difference this makes in boosting your site with the search engines.”