Did you know that by following a few simple steps you can generate publicity for your company that would cost you literally thousands to buy? And because you are actually saving money on your advertising costs and potentially driving hundreds of new visitors to your business, the amount you saved is all pure profit.?
Think about it:
- You are saving on advertising costs – every time you save money, the amount of these savings is PURE PROFIT
- Every business wants good publicity and one way to get positive media attention is by distributing press releases and this good publicity will create a positive image of your company, which will in turn encourage people to buy from you! More PROFIT!
However you may not be familiar with press releases or just how powerful they can be, so here is a brief summary:
‘A press release is a newsworthy story about your business that you submit to various
media outlets -newspapers, magazines, website, radio, television. This is a great way to
get free promotion for your website and business and any story that the media picks up will
be far more valuable than a paid advertising spot. After all, people are suspicious of
advertising, but when the media reports on you – people are more likely to accept the
information as provided.’
When you have a story in the media about your business, it is like having a personal endorsement of your business – and that’s a very positive aspect of the process.
But what if I don’t have anything newsworthy to say about my business, you might ask?
Follow my crib sheet and this will fill you with ideas for your next press mail-out and the rest of this guide will show you step-by-step how to write, format and submit the release to the media streams.
There are plenty of topics you can draw on for your press release campaign and to help you with the process, here are 27 great ideas for your next media attack.
27 Press Release Ideas
1. Announce your grand opening. Get the interest stirred and crank up the publicity machine – if you have a special opening offer – all the better. Keep your target market in mind thought.
2. Get ideas from current events. And tie your business story into these hot news stories.
For example, if you sell draught-proofing and your area is experiencing record low
temperatures, you could create a press release about how to save on home heating
costs and include a reference to your products.
3. Piggy back on Film and TV; if you have developed some stunning new technology, you could write a release letting people know that the future is not that far away and your technology mirrors what they may have seen on sci-fi or even Bond movies.
4. Think out of the box – describe how your product can be adapted to solve a common problem that might not have been thought of before; remember the story of the Post it Notes-where an unsuccessful glue product turned into the multi-million dollar removable adhesive system?
5. Share ways that your offerings can save customers time, money or both. These are
two things that few people would say they do not need more of.
6. Tell about prominent individuals who use your product or service. They don’t
necessarily have to be movie stars or heads of state, just people who will be
familiar to your target market. If possible, get a testimonial to use.
7. Donate a product or service to a worthy cause. Then write a press release about it.
Focus on the charity and how it benefited from your donation.
8. Sponsor a local sports team. Not only will your business name be on the uniforms,
it will also provide a good opportunity to attract the media attention.
9. Hold a free seminar. This will give the press something to write about, and it will
also help put you in contact with new potential customers.
10. Speak at someone else’s seminar. This will help you gain expert status and makes
great press release material.
11. Announce your availability to speak at seminars and other events. Take the
opportunity to let readers know your areas of expertise and interest in sharing
12. Start a newsletter and announce it with a press release. Let potential readers know
if you accept contributions, answer reader questions or offer exclusive deals to
13. Host a fundraiser for charity. Write a press release detailing what cause you are
helping, how the fundraiser works and how people can participate.
14. Write another press release when your fundraiser is complete. Tell how much
money you raised, announce top contributors and tell how the money raised will
help the charity.
15. Donate a certain percentage of your sales for a given time period to charity.
Consider giving a gift with purchase to encourage sales.
16. Follow up with a press release that tells how much money you donated. Tell how
the charity plans to use the funds and thank the customers who made it possible.
17. Blow your own trumpet. When you win an award, send out a press release.
Focus on what this means for the customer and how your exceptional service or product benefits them.
18. Remedia – this is the equivalent of retweeting; if you have received noteworthy media coverage then let the other media know about it in a release.
19. Ask customers for permission to share their success stories that involve your
product. Your press release will be a news story and a testimonial all in one.
20. Start a new business association. Issue a press release that states the group’s
purpose and goals.
21. Make a prediction that relates to your field. A well thought-out prediction with
facts and statistics to back it up is sure to get some press.
22. Business birthday coming up? Wish your business a happy anniversary. Share your past achievements and your plans for the future.
23. Write an informative brochure or report and give it away. Everyone loves free
24. Give out awards to people or businesses in your community. Creating an “Of the
Month” or “Of the Year” award will provide you with content for many months or even years!
25. Start a new unofficial holiday that celebrates your business. If you run a cupcake bakery, you could have a National Cupcake day with all kinds of treats and special offers.
26. Create an un- holiday for people who do not like traditional ones. Around
Valentine’s Day, for instance, you could start a Proud to be Single Day. Tie your products and services into these promotions as much as possible.
27. Have a post-holiday sale, no matter what the holiday! Be as creative and as off-the-wall as you like. The Press love crazy!
Press Release Formatting Tips
Your press release should have six basic components and they are:
1. Release Instructions
“For Immediate Release”;
“For Release Before [date]” or
“For Release After [date]”
Use one of the latter two if your press release is of a time sensitive nature. For example, if
you are holding a public speaking event, you will want to use the “For Release Before
[date]” and make sure you input the final date for registrations.
If you are using the “For
Release Before [date]” ensure you are sensitive to media deadlines. Send your release out
well in advance.
Write an attention-grabbing headline. Make it benefits-oriented (why would it be of
interest to people?) and descriptive. Avoid hype and promotional language ~ remember,
this is a news story.
3. Contact Information
Include as much information as possible here. Make it easy for the media to contact you.
Include your phone number, address, company name, fax number, email and URL.
Include the hours you are available at the listed phone number and add an after hours
phone number, if applicable.
Before you get into the body of the release, write a sentence or two to summarize your
press release. Make it interesting, you want the recipient to keep reading.
This is the meat of your press release. Again, write a benefits-oriented story. Think of the
target audience as you are writing. Your target audience is partly the editor or reporter
who will be reading the release. Ultimately, however, your target audience is that editor
or reporter’s readers or audience. You need to write a story that will be of interest to
The first paragraph should answer all the important questions – Who, What, Where,
When, Why & How?
Add some quotations to add credibility and to break up the story. Quotations can be from
you about the topic. Testimonials or commentary from your customers are very effective
6. Signify the End of Your Release
The end of your press release is shown by a few simple characters. Use either END or place ### at the end of your release.
Other General Formatting Tips
- Always remember that your press release is not an ad. It is a newsworthy story.
- Address your release directly to the appropriate reporter or editor. The media
receives many press releases each day. A release addressed to a specific person is
more likely to get attention than a general submission.
- Keep your release to about 1 page (or 2 pages maximum).
- Number your pages 1 of 2, 2 of 2, etc.
- Use active verbs.
- Do not use excessive adjectives – they sound like hype.
- Tweak your release when sending to different media outlets. If you are sending to
- the local paper your content may be slightly different than if you are sending it to
a trade magazine.
- Most press releases are accepted by email , but If you are sending your release by mail, use 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper.
Media Kit Template
A media kit is a more detailed profile of your company that includes your company
information, press releases, fact sheet, photos, logos etc. It’s a good idea to have a media
kit readily available for download in the media section of your website. In most cases
when you are distributing press releases, keeping it simple with a 1-page release is best –
but some media outlets may specifically request you to submit a media kit, so you should
be ready for that.