Let me tell this to you straight: most journalists will never write about your company or product.
Why not? You are not newsworthy! When I say newsworthy, I mean something new in your business that someone besides you (and your team) cares about.
So you know what I recommend? Coming up with a great story, essentially pre-write the story. You’ve done most of the work for the writer, be they a journalist or a blogger.
Another thing: most press releases that news organizations receive are deleted or thrown away. They are never seen by anyone else. But here’s a secret – online it doesn’t matter because you decide what gets published. All you need to do is write a press release and distribute it through an online news portal. But first, you have to have a killer idea.
Top Five Press Release Ideas
- Publish Case Studies, Data and Surveys
If you have research to share, a press release is a great way to do it. So maybe you looked through your customer list and found that small businesses with a blog get 5x more traffic to their web site. Expand that and send it out!
- Make Lists
Just like this article, you can create stories around a list. Information like “The 3 Mistakes Most Small Business Owners Make,” “How to Build Muscle like a Bodybuilder Pro,” “Small Business Trends Names 5 Best Online Tools for Small Businesses,” or this one – “5 Ways to Wear Leggings this Winter” make good stories.
- Publicize a Good Cause
This is the story about how you and your team took the day off to serve homeless youth. Or how OfficeMax is helping teachers by donating school supplies. Look for these type of “feel good” stories and write them up in a press release.
- Give the Major News Story a Local (or your) Spin
You’ll need to act fast to capitalize on this opportunity but it can be worth it. When big news hits and you can add your take, you can be a local expert on the topic. Recently my video editor made a video about the Typhoon in the Philippines where he lives. It got more than 40,000 views on YouTube. He could’ve sent out a press release with the video embedded in it.
- Highlight the Strange and Bizarre
This idea can go viral more quickly. Find the odd, sensational, strange and deranged to write about. The stranger the story, the more likely you’ll get publicity from your press release. This is extreme marketing. You can find examples in Digg.com by searching for a general term. If you’re a dentist, search for “teeth.” Follow that link and you’ll see one of the top stories is how monkeys teach their offspring to floss. You could send out a press release about that and how monkeys teach their kids to floss, why don’t humans? Another site I like for bizarre ideas is Trend Hunter.
Hopefully this inspires you to write your own press releases. Most businesses overlook many opportunities to send out a press release and get some media coverage. They make the one mistake that is common: they make it about them, not the story. Once you do that you’ll turn most people off right away, including journalists.
Use these tips and write your own killer press releases – and you’ll get media biting. And if you don’t, please distribute your news online and blog about it. Then people can find your story regardless of if media picks it up.
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About the Author: Janet Meiners Thaeler is an Evangelist for OrangeSoda Inc. and the principal blogger for their corporate blog and Twitter account. She regularly advises clients on blogging and social media strategies. Her own blog is Newspapergrl.com (and Twitter account @newspapergrl). She is passionate about online marketing and is always looking for new insights, resources and trends to help her clients.