In this day and age even the smallest of businesses has a website and access to its own social media channels.
This allows them to promote their products and services directly – good, bad or indifferently – to potential customers. That’s a huge opportunity for any business.
But it doesn’t mean that mainstream media should be cut out of your marketing and promotion plans. In fact, why would you deprive your business or organisation the opportunity to put your messages in front of thousands, or millions, of potential customers?
There are lots of ways this can be done, but many still find that writing a press release is one of the most straightforward ways of communicating with and through media. It does require expertise, thought and time but for someone with the right skillset it’s simpler than organising an event and less expensive than paying for advertising.
Here are five good reasons why press releases should be part of any promotional strategy – for any size of organisation.
Newspapers and their websites; radio and TV stations; online only sites, all have massive reach. For an independent business to advertise themselves in these channels would be a significant investment.
Telling that story through a well-written press release means opening up the possibility of gaining exposure at a fraction of the cost. Please note though, no publication will thank you for sending it thinly disguised ads written as an ‘exciting’ news story. You must have something worth them reporting.
Many publications can trace their history a long way. A long, long way. They are part of our society and communities. Whatever may be said about distrusting journalists, we still place an enormous amount of stock in what we read, be that in print or online. We tend to trust what they tell us. There are regular surveys that always place regional newspapers and local TV towards the top of brands that people turn to first for news and trust in what they see.
We’ve all become used to the swipe, swipe, swipe of social media channels; the endless flicking through a myriad of posts until something catches our eye. It may only hold our attention for a matter of seconds before our eye’s distracted by an ad or video.
Newspapers and magazines tend to hold our attention longer. People either buy, or at least pick up, these titles with the intention of reading something. There isn’t the ‘noise’ created by the latest post coming in looking for a like or comment.
Digital media should have its place in your armoury, but if you want someone to consider your message for longer than a few seconds, it’s well worth thinking hard about where you’re most likely to get success.
All newsrooms are multi-platform. That is, we may call it a newspaper, but that newspaper will have a website; will operate on all social media channels and will shoot video and carry audio. So we have plenty of opportunities to engage people however they choose to consume information.
It’s the same for radio and TV, both will have an active web presence, both will be leading people to their content through social media.
It’s an important point to remember when sending a press release that you want it to appear in as many of that media’s channels as possible. There’s still great credibility for many in appearing in print, but actually the online reach will be far greater. And a Facebook or Twitter link can be liked and shared to a much wider and diverse audience.
The big finish…independent credibility
This, for me, is the prime reason businesses should be looking to build a relationship with media to communicate about their products and services.
Of course your own website and social media will tell people how brilliant you are, how your customer care is second to none and how you always go the extra mile for clients.
But isn’t it better if there’s validation of your strengths? A newspaper or radio station may not actually say ‘these guys are the best’ but being able to shout about your successes, your innovations and your future plans in these environments is the next best thing.
It comes back to that brand trust.
‘I read about that company and the development they’ve been working on’ creates a positive connection.
Similarly, ‘I heard about that new product on the radio, it must be good’.
A simplistic connection maybe, but one many of us make.
That’s five good reasons why you should make press releases a key part of your communications. To continue this theme here’s seven reasons business should engage with mainstream media.
Always happy to debate any points of interest and to hear how others are developing how they communicate through the media. Please contact me here.