The Press Release: How and When to Promote Company News

by Dianna Brodine, Plastics Decorating

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?

  1. Establish a relationship with media outlets as a willing and educated source of information.
  2. Gain visibility with prospective and current clients who view industry news outlets.
  3. 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.

  1. New hires in top positions
  2. New equipment acquisitions
  3. Facility expansions
  4. Product or service offering expansions
  5. Local, national or industry awards and recognitions
  6. 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.

  1. Descriptive headline. Explain concisely what the press release is promoting.
  2. One to three paragraphs describing the event.
  3. 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.
  4. Contact information. Provide a phone number or email address for the primary contact person should a media representative require more information.