Your PR supporting cast
We spend a lot of time discussing press releases on this blog for two reasons: 1) press releases are what we do and 2) we believe that they are an incredibly effective and essential tool in building your business. A well-written press release in the right hands gains you ground with journalists, bloggers, and media influencers who are then able to give you that media coverage you want for your business.
However, a press release cannot be where you rest your laurels. The release gives relevant exposure to your consumer base, informs them of who you are and what you do, and makes a connecting point between the reader and your business, but there has to be effort made in other areas of your business to support what you are claiming in your release.
Any good journalist will dig deeper into the companies whose press releases catch their eye. Remember, their reputation is always at stake and the last thing that they want to do is mention a business as a leader in the industry only to realize that their online presence is disorganized and not ready for the attention.
So, what happens when the journalist you sent your press release to takes notice and investigates further into your business?
Whenever you come across a name you’re unfamiliar with or a business you don’t know much about, or really, whenever you’re faced with any question, of any sort, what is your first instinct? We can answer that: you Google it. Internet searching is almost a reflex, these days. We now live in a world where information is quite literally at our fingertips, so to assume that a journalist or a consumer will be satisfied with only the information you supply to them in your press release would be remiss of you.
Before you send off your press release, we strongly suggest making sure your website is readily accessible, user-friendly, and kept up-to-date. There is nothing worse for momentum than finding a website “under construction” or last updated in 2010. Competition is tight online; an absent or poorly constructed website can quickly stunt the growth of your company’s exposure.
The Social Media Sphere
I assume most of you reading this are currently active on at least one social media platform. If you’re not, now is the time to re-evaluate that decision. Social media is king, queen, judge and jury nowadays. Staying current with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or even Instagram and Pinterest is becoming less of an option and more of an expectation.
It’s a constant (and free) way to market yourself, to stay on top of the needs or concerns of your consumer base, and a great point of connection with the public for you as a business owner. Social media also give you countless opportunities to pop into the media’s feeds and generate some buzz.
Along the lines of social media, having a publicly accessibly blog provides your consumers or clients with an additional way to get to know you. It can be a space where you keep people up-to-date on the latest product developments, where you create a relatable public persona, where you can share the things you as a company are excited about doing, and where you can address any questions or concerns people may have. When a reporter is doing some initial research, checking out the company blog is an easy place for them to start and get an idea of what’s going on with the business. Sending a press release that says a business is doing all kinds of exciting things should always be supported by your own news outlet, which is often your blog. If an event is newsworthy enough to suggest a reporter covers it, it should be newsworthy enough for you to cover it.
The Media Assets
Media assets (pictures, multimedia, logos) can be an underrated supporting player in your PR. Multiple versions of your visual assets along with usage guidelines is a huge help for someone writing a last minute story or wanting to include some details about your company. Add in some high quality (and always up-to-date) photos, promotional videos, and a brief history of your company and you’ve got yourself a nice little media kit.
Press releases are our business. We believe in the effectiveness they have when they’re well written and well distributed – and we believe that your company deserves as much attention as it can get. Just don’t rely on your press release to do all the work for you. You don’t want a journalist or customer to read what you have to say and dig deeper only to find that your presence elsewhere is lacking. Build up a supporting cast of sorts, so that when people come searching for you, what they find is a reliable, attractive and established business they can’t wait to talk about.