I first learned the incredible power of a well-crafted press release while running a Silicon Valley PR Firm during the Dotcom days. My specialty was introducing first-of-its-kind consumer electronics to the world, with the goal of getting as much publicity as possible—and I was very good at it.
I could get my clients’ products featured and highlighted in reviews in the New York Times, CNN, TIME Magazine and other worldwide publications for free. Purchasing an equivalent ad in the New York Times would have cost my client a small fortune—yet there they were… a picture and review of their product accompanied by information about their company and its web address.
Looking back, I know the key to my success was my skills and knack for positioning my client and their products in a way that made the press and media want to talk about it. You see, most believe that a press release is just a tool to announce themselves or their product—missing what a press release is really about. A press release is about highlighting you… but, more importantly, it is about weaving-in and pitching a possible story that the editor reading it
could envision using for a story.
Think of a press release as a suggestion for a great story idea for an editor, yet it includes your product or service. It does require persuasion, but can be extremely potent when used effectively in a press release!
Let me give you an example.
Say I want to get some publicity for a client of mine that is a “Relationship Matchmaker.” First, I would think of a story that could be interesting for the media to write about, and then I would weave that theme into her service announcement.
The title of the press release could be “Matchmaking Business Grows in Recession” and while I would announce her service – it would be woven into the theme of how the recession has caused online and matchmaking services to boom.
I could also weave the theme into her quote about how the recession has caused online dating and matchmaking to explode in popularity. In effect, you “suggest a story” for an editor, and you better bet that
the first person this editor will call or mention is this person.
I have another client who has an online appointment scheduling software. Instead of simply announcing his product, I wrote about how no-shows cost companies millions every year and this is one of the products that could help eliminate no-shows.
Next time you find yourself writing a press release, think deeply about a possible story that you can weave into your announcement that will grab an editor’s attention and make them want to write about you.
Copyright 2010 by Christine Alexander, WriteStrategy. www.write-strategy.com
Permission granted to post where you desire as long as credits stay intact.