This is your opportunity to tell the world who you are and what you do, and to present yourself and your organization in the brightest, most positive light

As you know, the web is filled with complaint sites. And most people post only the negative experiences they’ve had. The average review for a company or service is only a couple of sentences long and tells just one side of the story. A press release gives you the opportunity to tell the world who you are and what you do—you get control over the content, and you say what you want in much more than a sentence or two. You can't control the Internet, but you can ensure that people find plenty of good news about your organization on it. Make sure that when potential customers search for your organization online, they find much more than a few comments. Let’s face it, 7% of the world is not going to like your organization, product, or service, for whatever reason, and that’s human nature. Just don’t let that 7% dominate your online reputation.

When people search online for information about you or your company, what will they find?

It’s easy to find all kinds of information online with a simple search. What do searchers learn about your organization? It’s important for your press releases to be consistent. Think of the Internet as a great big stack of paper. Everyday, more and more things get piled on top of that stack. Search engines start at the top and go only deep enough in that stack to fill the search page. Submitting regular press releases will ensure that something current is pulled up when a search is launched for your organization. And the great part about a press release is that you don’t have to pay every time someone reads it. You can spend a lot of money on Google ads but get very little noticeable return for your money.

Google ads and the like are the gift that keeps on charging – you pay per view and you can pay per click.

Google ads are very expensive for many small businesses, and often they produce little – if any – increase in revenue. There are a lot of companies that offer SEO, or search engine optimization, but it comes at a price. By contrast, press releases can help get you on the first page at a fraction of the cost of hiring a firm for SEO. These SEO companies will often tell you to submit press releases, and press releases work two ways – they help your potential customers locate you, and they provide good content when you are found!

A press release becomes part of the Internet.

A major advantage of a press release is that it becomes part of the Internet, and you don't have to maintain it. You’re busy running an organization, you have a website, but how do you get it to stand out from the billions of other sites out there? Potential customers will go to your site if they know about it. The big question is: How do you tell people about your organization? There’s social media, but that really only works for people who know who you are. Press releases help you spread the word to potential customers who don't know who you are or what you do. Press releases can be an effective tool to reach local, regional, national, and international customers, depending on your industry and your aims. We can help you reach that audience by getting your press release picked up by media outlets that matter for you.

Social media is great for keeping your customers informed, but press releases are used to gain more customers.

Social media is a good way to keep your current customers informed but rarely attracts new customers. Press releases are a low-cost way to get the word out to a lot of new customers quickly. There’s zero maintenance for a press release – it’s just there waiting to be viewed. Social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can work for some businesses, but constant updating is required. The main disadvantage of social media is that anything posted on social media sites is not picked up by search engines.

How often should a company send out press releases?

Press releases should be posted regularly so potential customers see you as a progressive and proactive organization. Something positive happens at your organization at least every three months, and probably more often than that. It could be as simple as a new hire, a seasonal menu change, an innovative new chef, or a new or improved product or service. Maybe it’s a special deal you’re running. With press releases, you get your name out there to remind people about your great company, and then you keep it out there. So, depending on the industry, a new press release should be sent out quarterly, although some fast-changing industries might want to aim for monthly press releases. The most important point to remember is to make sure your press release does not sound like an ad and that it gives readers meaningful content.

Keep your press release to a single theme.

Press releases should ideally be about a single event, announcement, product, etc. They need to be short and to the point – three to four paragraphs, with maybe a fifth one detailing your company. If you try to cover too much in a press release, you risk leaving readers confused about the main point of your release. Have two important news items to share? Do it in two releases!

It’s okay to use simple language in your press release – if people can’t understand it, there’s no point sending it.

Be careful to keep your press release simple and clear. Avoid writing it at too high an academic level. Most newspapers are written so that the average American can understand them; this means writing at an 8th grade level. Writing a press release is not an English assignment where you need to impress your professor. Use clear and concise language. If you give readers an opportunity to misinterpret something, chances are they will. Write the release as if you’re telling a co-worker about something in an email.

A press release is not an advertisement.

If you write a press release that sounds more like an ad, it won’t get picked up by as many media outlets. Keep the press release positive and talk about the good things that you are doing. You are marketing good news about your organization, so save the ads for the newspaper.

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