Why Your Company’s Doing Press Releases Wrong, and How to Change That

You're Doing Press Releases WrongWhen you hire press release writing services, you might be disappointed with the results if you get something back that hardly mentions your company’s name. However, that’s because a good press release does not advertise. It sets the background for readers to wonder if they might need your services. A press release works with advertisements. Here is how.

1. Publications are looking for news

News is not advertisement disguised as news. If your company has real news to report—like a popular CEO who just died or moved on, a new division you bought or set up, or a new product your engineers designed that will soon be on the market—you can use a press release to draw attention. But if nothing in particular is going on with your company, then you’ll need to find outside news that fits it.

2. Finding news outside your company

Outside news that matches your company is not hard to find. There are all kinds of problems in the world that are reported regularly in the news. Think of the services you provide or products you sell. What benefits do customers receive from them? When you read news and find yourself saying, “See, they should have bought…” or, “My product wouldn’t have done that…” or, “You know, if that becomes a problem here, we could help”—then you’ve found an opportunity.

As a writer for hire, I was asked by a security gate installation company to write a press release related to problems with invasive ants. I looked it up in the news and found that these “crazy ants” were displacing native ant populations throughout the south, and were nesting inside people’s houses, especially inside electronic equipment. Then I realized that a security gate has an electronic box that operates the gate, so that’s what I used as the link between the news and the company. The news was about the invasive ants coming. The last line cautioned readers to get their gates and other electronic items checked, cleaned, and oiled to prevent invasion. The company was only mentioned once.

3. Advertising and the news release

Let’s say you have hired a writing service to prepare a press release and you want it published in a certain newspaper. How can you maximize the opportunity to make the money you spent worthwhile?

In the ant example, the security gate company could modify their ad to read at the bottom, “Specializes in gate box inspections and cleaning.” Then they would send in the ad with the press release about the ant invasion, and ask that they be placed near each other on the same or adjacent pages of the publication. If the publisher agrees, the reader will read the article, think about the last time they had their gate box checked, then see the ad and call. That’s how you use a press release.

Susette H is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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