Importance of Press Release
Increasing real-time communication options have opened new doors for business communications and breathed life into some old standbys. One of these is the familiar press release, first used in the U.S. in 1955 by the author and journalist James Reston. Done correctly, press releases are as important for getting information about your business to the public today as they were in 1955.
Significant Public Relations Tool
A press release is a free public relations tool, which is especially beneficial for a startup or growing small business. Each press release publicizes important or useful information about an upcoming event or one that has occurred. While a grand opening, special event or new product launch are all good reasons for issuing a release, press releases also alert the public to product recalls while providing important consumer information and working to mitigate an internal crisis. For example, a press release might tell the public about an information security breach, explain what happened and outline the steps being taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Cost-Effective and Easily Distinguishable
Anyone can write and submit a press release — free-of-charge — to multiple media outlets. Although traditional options include newspapers, radio and television stations, online options are becoming increasingly common. A standard newspaper format makes it easy for the public to distinguish between a press release and an advertisement. For example, a headline, clear, concise wording and a fact-based presentation of the information makes a press release clear and easy to read.
What Press Releases Don’t Include
The importance of a press release lies as much in what it doesn’t include as in what it does include. Because press releases typically don’t — and shouldn’t — include advertisements, the public often views the information in a press release as credible. De-emphasizing emotions and avoiding strongly worded expressions also enhance credibility. This is particularly important when a press release contains negative information about your business, employees or the products your business sells.
Press Releases Today
Increasingly, heavy emphasis on social media as a public relations and marketing tool is giving press releases alternative publishing options. Where businesses once had to depend solely on — and get past — journalists acting as editors and information gatekeepers, online self-publishing is now a viable option. Posting a press release on your business website and promoting it through social media or an online press release distribution service allows you to directly communicate information to a mass audience and to target specific groups. For example, incorporating keywords and using search engine optimization tools can significantly increase the likelihood your press release will appear in search-engine results.
By: Jackie Lohrey