I spent some time this week working with some folks on plans to issue a press release. At the same time I was getting ready to send out a release for one of my own businesses/projects. Over the years I have learned from some of the best and I currently have some great PR partners that I work with when I need help. That let me to think about this post and to start talking about Press Releases.

Aside from the details in the release of Who, What, Where, When, Why or what’s the Wow – timing of a release is important. (We can talk about structure in another post)

Many releases get sent out too early and don’t attract any attention. Others get sent out too late and receive the same effect because it is old news. If you have an event coming up, it is key to undertstand the news cycles in your area. For example, is the cutoff for Sunday’s business section Tuesday of that week? Make sure to send your release in plenty of time. And it helps to put a plan together of a release schedule if multiple press releases make sense for your business.

If timing isn’t as critical to a specific day, you have a little more leeway. Writing and distributing the press release is only one piece of the puzzle. Building relationships with your media and press folks is the other. The more they get to know who you are and understand your business, the more they will listen. If they get that you only send a release when something is important or pertinent they’ll pay more attention. Releases should be newsworthy. There’s nothing worse that news releases that are full of fluff.

Announcements can be made around the following topics:

1) A new partnership with another company
2) A new location or a move
3) New management taking over
4) A new product being launched
5) An owner takes a new community role
6) Any winnings of awards or competitions

You get the idea – something that you want the world to know that will draw a little or a lot of attention your way.

Never written a press release? There are a lot of free resources that can help with the process. Drop me a line and I’ll point you in the right direction.

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Mandy Swift - July 15, 2011

Hi VaNessa,
I was interested to nose around your site and come across your ‘offline marketing’ section. My main focus of expertise is in helping people with their online marketing, however, sometimes that I feel in the frenzy of trying to get ahead online, people sometimes forget the power off off-line marketing, and in particular the power of combining the two.
How interesting, that no matter where you are marketing or what you are doing, at the heart of everything it all comes back to building relationships and adding value.
Thanks for pointing those things out. I’ll be back 🙂


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