For years, the humble press release was the bread and butter of the marketing world. Before questions of mobile, social media, email, and digital marketing flooding the landscape, issuing a press release was the primary way of getting your brand’s message out to potential consumers.
Today the press release is still valuable, even if it is only one tool in the marketer’s toolbox. They should still be used, but it is important to understand their strategic value and deploy them accordingly. Overusing press releases – just like overusing any marketing technique – can end up damaging your brand’s reputation in the eyes of the media and journalists you’re trying to reach.
Pros and Cons
Press releases still have a place in today’s marketing and bring many positives to a full-orbed marketing strategy – they can be picked up by multiple media publications and spread locally or even nationally, helping to generate inbound links to your website, building valuable relationships with in the press, and allowing you to control the message about your brand. But these positives must be balanced with a few possible drawbacks – they are somewhat outdated and they are useless if no one picks up the story.
Balancing these pros and cons means finding a firm that knows how to effectively use press releases to your advantage. A knowledgeable public relations team will know the when and how of press releases to ensure that you get a return on your press release investment.
When and How
The key to a successful press release is an appropriate understanding of when and how to issue a press release. Both can affect the potential media attention – an improperly formatted press release won’t be picked up because it requires too much cleanup on the part of the press, and a press release that is not linked to a newsworthy item will simply come across as an attempt at free advertising.
When is the proper time for a press release? When your business has something to share that is ‘newsworthy.’ Some examples of newsworthy announcements are special events or sponsorships, moving to a new location, release of a new product, or an industry award or recognition. Attempting press releases around non-newsworthy events will only turn off journalists for future relations with your company – these would include sales, promotional events, and trivial changes to your business.
How you issue your press release is equally important. The first step in a successful press release is proper formatting – if you hope to get it picked up by the media it is vital that you make it easy for the journalist to understand and adapt your story. If you make them go digging for more information or provide confusing and conflicting ideas, they will simply skip it over. The other factor when considering the ‘how’ of press releases is who to submit it to – a good PR firm will have developed relationships with local and influential members of the press and can help get your information in the right hands the first time.
Fusion Group USA combines advertising and public relations to educate and reach your target audience. With the tools and skills necessary to get your story out to the right press – whether they are local, regional, or national. Contact us today to learn about our full range of PR services.