The Press Release: How and When to Promote Company News
by Dianna Brodine
As the editor of a magazine, I have a vested interest in promoting a well-written press release. It makes my job much easier when companies send me their news, rather than requiring me to seek it out.
I'll tell you a little secret. Media representatives rarely will "seek it out".
Companies that promote themselves are the ones that receive publicity. A press release catches the eye of the media, alerts them to new developments within the industry and serves the beginning of a story on a silver platter. Yet many companies don’t take the time to send a press release when significant events occur, and those companies are missing out on a simple – and free – marketing opportunity.
Why Send a Press Release?
- Establish a relationship with media outlets as a willing and educated source of information.
- Gain visibility with prospective and current clients who view industry news outlets.
- Increase a company’s online presence through the media’s use of web links.
When Should a Press Release Be Sent?
If these events occur, they could trigger a press release.
- New hires in top positions
- New equipment acquisitions
- Facility expansions
- Product or service offering expansions
- Local, national or industry awards and recognitions
- Internal company benchmark or goal achievement
How Should a Press Release Be Formatted?
There are a variety of press release templates available on the internet, but essentially a press release is a simple document with four parts.
- Descriptive headline. Explain concisely what the press release is promoting.
- One to three paragraphs describing the event.
- Boilerplate. This is a news industry term that refers to a block of text that can be used repeatedly to convey information. In the case of a press release, a boilerplate paragraph should be used to provide brief background on a company and its capabilities.
- Contact information. Provide a phone number or email address for the primary contact person should a media representative require more information.