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Press Release Basics: What it Can Do for Your New Business

 

If you're launching a new business, you need to put the time and effort into getting out a quality press release. Issuing press releases can be an effective marketing strategy if you learn how to catch the attention of news organizations. This can be one of the most effective early methods of letting customers know that your business exists, and what it can do for them.

What is a Press Release?

A press release is a one-page document that's sent to media outlets, announcing an event or product. They're designed to catch the eye of a journalist or news organization, to encourage them to do a story on the subject.

Headline and Subheader

The top of a press release should include the date and company logo, followed by a compelling headline: "Grand Opening of XYZ Widgets," for example. A subheader directly beneath the headline should give a brief description of what the press release is about.

First Things First

News organizations receive hundreds of press releases every day, and it's difficult to catch their attention. A press release needs to have 5 basic elements up front: who, what, where, when and why. These should be listed with bullet points and kept as brief as possible. Here's an example:

  • Who: XYZ Widgets
  • What: Grand Opening Celebration
  • Where: 555 Widget Lane
  • When: Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
  • Why: Door prizes, free food, family fun, live music (great visuals)

 

Put these items first on the press release. This allows an assignment editor or reporter to skim it quickly. If they're interested in covering the event, they'll read the rest of it. If you start with a lot of details about your company or extraneous information, your press release will end up in the recycle bin with the 399 other press releases they received that day.

More Details

Now that the event itself has been described, you can go into as much detail as you'd like. Talk about the services your company provides, why you're launching the business, how your customers will benefit and any future plans for community involvement or other civic activities. Conclude with a paragraph that has details about the event or the business launch and a phone number for news organizations to call if they'd like more details.

Where to Submit a Press Release

There are free services online where you can publish your press release, as well as paid services. You can use sites such as Best Syndication or ISnare to submit a free press release. PR Web is a paid site that will distribute your press release all over the web. You'll also want to target your release to local media outlets. This takes a lot of time and effort, but it can pay off in the long run. Search for the fax number and email address for every news outlet in your local market. This includes radio and TV stations, trade magazines and newspapers. Contact each media outlet and find out if they have a business reporter. If they do, get that person's contact information so you can send the press release directly to them.

A press release can be a great springboard for launching your business. If you can catch the interest of at least one news organization, they'll do a story on your business. This gives you free advertising for your new business.

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Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.

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