Q: I really want to use PR for my business. I know there are a host of ideas for press releases, but I've used many of them over and over. I need something fresh-perhaps something for each month of the year. Any ideas?
A: Part of managing the total marketing campaign-and especially the public relations portion-is supplying the media with a unique story that will grasp their reader and viewer audiences. Press releases also have a dramatic impact on customers and your targeted prospects.
I've said before that there is definitely a knack to writing a "newsworthy" press release, even though sometimes the goal is awareness and promotion. Editors do not like promotion, so crafting a press release to appeal to an editor is key. There is no guarantee that any press release will ever be published, but with a consistent professional newsworthy approach with reputable editors of reputable publications, the probability is good that some press will be gained and awareness will increase. Press releases are also great vehicles for communicating with clients and prospects. Putting them on a Web site is a very effective means of promoting to your captive markets. It also further substantiates your marketing and your credibility in your field.
When entrepreneurs undertake such a campaign, this question is often asked: "I'm not sure our company has anything to write about for a press release. What do you suggest?" Some of the standard subjects for press releases involve:
- Starting a new business.
- Introducing a new product.
- Celebrating an anniversary.
- Announcing a promotion.
- Announcing a restructuring of a company.
- Offering an article series for publication.
- Relocating offices.
- Opening branch or satellite offices.
- Receiving an award.
If you've been consistent with your press release writing and publication, some of these subjects might be considered "old" to either your audience or the editor you're targeting. So, it's time to spice up your press release efforts with new subjects. One approach is to tie your press releases to the current month, the upcoming season or the holidays. Here are some suggestions for each month of the year. (Note: Company names are fictional and are used for examples only.)
- Apollo Corporation Begins New Year With New Organization
- Buskum and Company Kicks off New Year With New Products
- J. Little and Associates Honors Presidents Day With Open House and Coffee With Their President
- Heart Clinic Inc. to Offer Free Heart Scans on Valentine's Day
- Harrison Bank Uses "Coming in Like a Lion" Theme for Upcoming Trade Show
- Not All Patricks Are Saints at Patrick and Sons Paint-Clearance Sale
- We're Spring Cleaning at Springs Auto Parts-Marked-Down Inventory and Other Clearance Items Won't Last Long
- Bertram's Books Offers All Ladies Free Flower on Mother's Day
- Spring Is in the "Air" at Thompson's Tires-Free Rotation Offered on May Day
- Schools out for Summer Annual Picnic at Teen Park
- Joseph Attorneys and Associates Presents New Flag to City Hall on Flag Day
- Celebrate America's Independence With Red, White and Blue Days at Clothes Mart
- Springfield Chamber Offers Lunch in the Park for Honorees
- Dog Days of Summer Open House at Humane Society
- No Holiday Month Holiday Celebration at the Towne Library
- Back to School, Back to Work, Back to Back at In Line Chiropractic/
- Buy American Day in Honor of Columbus at Skitchens Motors
- City Manager Shows Thanks by Donating Thanksgiving Monument to City
While these are all in the form of headlines, they still give you some ideas on how to tag along with the season for your press releases. Many of the events are in conjunction with other organizations. The key to getting published is to make your story newsworthy. Editors like sponsorships, donations, honors and events. All of the above fall into those categories.
Al Lautenslager is the president and owner of The Ink Well, a commercial printing and mailing company in Wheaton, Illinois, and the principal of Market For Profits, a Naperville, Illinois-based marketing consulting and coaching firm. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org through his Web site, Market for Profits".
The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, not of Entrepreneur.com. All answers are intended to be general in nature, without regard to specific geographical areas or circumstances, and should only be relied upon after consulting an appropriate expert, such as an attorney or accountant.