On the face of it, you might think the press release has been surpassed by other quicker and more dynamic communication tools but it still has its place so don’t discount it.
It’s about choosing the right tool for the job. Here are a few alternatives to a press release to consider. But they only work in the right circumstances, so choose carefully as you’re only likely to get one bite at this:
– Pick up the phone:
Only if your story warrants it, ring your media contact direct. Don’t waste their time otherwise – you won’t be too popular.
– Email snapshot:
Send a concise synopsis of your story to whet the journalists’ appetite. They’ll make a considered decision in seconds and if they’re interested they’ll be in touch. The subject line is crucial – make it work for you.
– Social media:
If your industry uses social media to communicate so should you. Journalists love Twitter (eg: @gavinesler; @jeremypaxman)– understand how they use it to converse and start to join in. Better still, instead of relying on journalists to spread your story for you, you can do it yourself through this medium.
Ensure every piece of news you want to share also appears on your website – it provides fresh content; it also means anyone interested in you and your company could find the story too when they search on Google. You could use a blog for this purpose too. This online content has longevity, it will stay there for years, unlike a printed article.
Whether you’re sending an email, making a verbal call or using social media, you need to have the information to support it – and guess what, the press release is still up to the job.
Don’t prepare reams of copy, give the story what’s it worth, ensure the key points are in the opening pars, include a quote (if relevant) to add punch and credibility and include contact details and info on any good imagery you have. And importantly, get the link into the body of the copy to ensure it gets used.