Rags to Riches/Small Town Guy Makes Good – The media loves these stories because their audience loves these stories. Tell your own tale about how you started with next to nothing and have risen to make a name for yourself. An example of this type of headline might read… “Local Mechanic Steps On The Gas”. Just tell the story of your meager beginnings and the struggle of building a thriving local business. Local or nation noteworthiness is equally as interesting. The media – and readers will eat it up.
Current Events – Any time you can write a story that coincides with a recent news event the chance of getting your story run increases dramatically. Right now, a “Down Economy” story also plays well every day of the week. I have also employed this method as a response to a competitor’s new product or service and have sometimes even gotten more press than the competitor. If you have superior service or products, this story plays well. Your story should not be negative. Rather, simply state that your company has been providing a similar product or service for some time, or that your product or service offers a feature the competitor’s does not. This type of press release can be very time sensitive in respect to breaking news. This is called piggybacking. It is effective with news stories both local and worldwide and is equally as useful against any level of competitor. In fact, when you can go up against the big guy, it is a David and Goliath theme that people simply adore.
Charitable Activities – I often recommend charitable activities as a marketing technique to my clients. It is a WIN-WIN for everyone concerned. The media wants to do their part to support charitable giving and press is often how they do it. They also admire small businesses that are making a difference in their communities. If you are donating a percentage of your revenues to a charity, THAT is newsworthy. If you are supporting a particular charitable event or making an in-kind contribution, the same goes. Your headline might read something like… “Local Eatery Forks It Over To Feed the Needy” with your story of contributing a percentage of sales to the Food Bank. Or “Accountant’s Donation Figures Into Student Success” with the story about your donation of back to school supplies. Another approach is to act as a collection point for an in-kind charitable campaign. For example…”Local Auto Repair Hosts Women’s Center Holiday Giving Tree”. The Giving Tree is a holiday tradition in my family and there have been years I have had to make calls to find one. Make it easy for people to be generous and get some press too. It’s a great way do good, and bring new folks to your business location. This idea is effective to meet any particular need such as food and supplies for your local animal shelter or personal supplies for a women’s shelter. The press and community love to support charitable events and fundraising. The Organization and your business both benefit. Oh and did I mention there may be tax benefits?
Now what? You have an approach but you are unsure what/how to actually write your press release. Remember to speak from the heart. It’s a story. Tell it with the emotion you actually feel. No one can tell this story as well as you can because you have lived it. Empathy is a strong motivator. If a media outlet can “feel” what you have said, you are likely getting press. Still stuck? If you just can’t write it yourself, seek the help of a professional. Sites like oDesk, eLance and Guru offer a wealth of knowledge and talent at a reasonable price. Certainly there are many local resources in your community-possibly even the local college or university. Doubtless there are marketing and advertising firms in your community interested in your business, and they know the local market. We at Write Web can help.
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