Friday, October 12, 2012

The Unique Benefits of Press Releases

Mainstream media outlets are always looking for legitimate news to report. Press releases are one of the main ways they find out about the latest news. Submitting a press release doesn't guarantee that a news story will be written about your company, but it does position you for the opportunity. In other words, it allows you to toss your "hat in the ring." This could enable you to benefit from valuable media publicity, which is the kind of exposure that money simply can't buy. Unlike with advertising, members of the public know that the media isn't paid to produce news reports. So they generally believe and trust the stories presented in newspapers, magazines or on TV/radio broadcast.

Essentially, news stories provide publicity that can enhance your company's visibility, credibility and earnings. That's why it's important to maintain an ongoing public relations program that includes distributing press releases directly to the media and posting them online to high profile news sites. Ideally, you should distribute a press release whenever you have something new or newsworthy to share about your company.

There are a host of newsworthy reasons to issue a press release, from the acquisition of a new client, partner or employee to the release of a new product/service, business expansion or participation in a community event. The possibilities for press release topics are virtually endless. Just be sure that every press release you create is professionally-written, newsworthy and crafted according to the standards and interests of the media. This could result in a full feature article or small write-up about your company. Or a reporter could interview you as an expert and include your comments in an article about a particular topic. Either outcome means exposure ("free advertising") for your business.

In case you're wondering if you can get guaranteed news coverage from submitting a press release, the answer is: No. Of course, if you commit a murder or some other negative act, there's a high chance you'll make the evening news. But the only sure-fire way to gain exposure for the positive things your company is doing is to purchase advertising. You could buy a display add to promote a new product/service, a recent award or special event. You could also pay the advertising department to produce an article-style advertorial about your company. Large display ads and advertorials let you determine the exact news that's printed about you, but they can cost thousands of dollars.

On the other hand, you cannot control when and how media outlets choose to use your press release. But if they do use it to write an article about your company, it won't cost you a single penny. This makes a press release campaign one of the most economical and best investments a company can make. Free publicity is a benefit you can't afford to ignore.

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