Press Release Marketing: Writing Business News as a Public Relations Strategy

Press Release Marketing: Writing Business News as a Public Relations Strategy

Press Release Marketing: Writing Business News as a Public Relations Strategy

There are two ways that a business can get its name covered by the news: it can buy advertising, or it can be covered as a news story. Press releases, properly managed, can be used to write up a company’s achievements as business news. As a public relations and soft marketing strategy, it is much more cost effective than advertising, and has a greater credibility factor. Even in digital marketing for drug rehab this has been an effective way. Writing a business press release that will be carried by the media is also much more challenging than writing ad copy.

Press Releases as Business Strategy

The basics of writing a press release may conflict with paid marketing strategies. The editor reviewing a press release will be looking for newsworthy elements.

  • The company should not be the story.
  • There should be quotes from third parties not connected with the business.
  • Facts should be checked for accuracy.

Unlike advertising copy, which usually centers around the product or service being offered, a press release is about business news. The strategy is in covering a story that puts the business in the best possible light.

Use Stories That Make for Good Public Relations

Stories that inform the reader indirectly about the company are excellent. Topics to focus on might include:

  • donations of time or services to a local nonprofit group,
  • trends in pop culture that create needs that the company can fulfill,
  • human interest stories that spotlight a person whose life was changed positively by a product or service, and
  • coverage of an unusual sports event, like frog jumping or spoon hanging, that the company sponsors.

This list is by no means exhaustive, it only serves to demonstrate the variety of press releases that can cover a business’ activities.

Get to Know Your Business Editor

Press releases should not be treated as a numbers game – it’s a terrible strategy to release business news stories by the ton and just hope that somebody will carry them. Personal relationships with editors of business papers, business sections, or business web pages are a critical aspect of an effective public relations strategy. Consider these points when issuing business press releases:

  • A newspaper or other medium may have a different focus each issue or week. Find out what kinds of stories will be needed and plan accordingly.
  • A phone call makes a difference. Whether a press release is faxed or emailed, call the editor and politely ask him to read it.
  • Take the editor’s time seriously. Don’t submit a press release if it’s only a thinly-veiled advertisement. Proofread your writing. Don’t wear our your welcome with amateur attempts.

A professional editor will know which writers produce press releases that cover real business news while also giving their clients free coverage. No editor will object to giving a company that public relations bump if it means a good article comes out of it.

Improving Strategic Press Releases

Business press releases can only be used as a part of a marketing strategy if they are also business news. Writing a business newsletter on a regular basis can focus the business writer on the news style. Other than developing a relationship with the news media, this type of practice is the most important aspect of any plan to market through business news rather than advertising.

Gail Pierce


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