Stop the Press (Release): 4 PR Tips for Small Businesses
Have you ever sent out a press release and wondered why no local reporters called to cover your big story?
There could be several reasons why your news wasn’t picked up, the major one being that your release wasn’t newsworthy. It might have been another promotional announcement filled with a bunch of marketing mumbo-jumbo.
It happens all the time – just ask any reporter. They get hundreds of press releases a day with no real or relevant story for them to share with their audience. And, if there was any news in the release, it was probably buried in a bunch of heavy content and long paragraphs.
To keep this from happening to you, consider these four PR tips the next time you want to produce a press release:
1. Press releases aren’t what they used to be. These days, many companies have labeled their not-so-newsworthy press releases as ‘news releases’ hosted on their online newsroom to share directly with key audiences through e-newsletters and social media channels. Also, some companies will share their news releases through free and/or paid wire distribution services for potential web traffic and SEO value.
2. Consider a different PR tool. If you’re hosting or participating in a special event, try a media alert instead of a press release. With a media alert, you can briefly call out the important information a reporter needs to know and label and organize the details in the following format:
- Why (NOTE: This is the most important detail. How does your event impact or benefit the local community?)
- Interview and Visual Opportunities
- Media Contact
3. Get to know your local reporters’ work. If you haven’t already, take some time to get a better understanding of what your local reporters cover, and where your small business might be a fit. Go online and read their recent stories or subscribe to your local newspapers and magazines―you should also be able to find their contact information online or in print. Check to see if a reporter has an ongoing column or news focus to which your business could add editorial value.
4. Engage with local reporters through Twitter. If your small business has an active Twitter account, you can follow local reporters to keep up with their stories and find out more about them. They might make mention of something that gives you an opportunity to chat with them. And, if they follow you back, you can send a direct message with a “thank you for the follow” note and let them know that they can feel free to reach you if they need a source on topics relevant to your business.
What PR tips and tools have you’ve used to get media coverage? Please tell us in the comments – and don’t forget to check out RingCentral’s own PR page!